Professional Hospitality Work Experience
Current Students

Hospitality Work Experience

What counts toward the 800 hours of HWE (hospitality work experience)?

Purpose: The purpose of the 800 hours of HWE is to help our students prepare themselves for the jobs they want to pursue after they graduate. Hence, if students want to pursue a career in hotels upon graduation, for example, they are strongly recommended to complete the 800 hours of HWE in hotels.

First-year students: All 800 hours of HWE must be completed after a student graduates from high school.

Transfer students: Up to 400 hours of HWE may be transferred from the time when they graduated from high school to their admission date to Cal Poly Pomona. At least 400 hours of HWE must be completed during the time when they are enrolled at Cal Poly Pomona.

In addition, the faculty at the Collins College of Hospitality Management agrees on and approves the following positions will count towards a student’s 800 hours of HWE with some specific examples:

  1. HWE in the Lodging Industry
    Any positions in hotels, resorts, bed and breakfast facilities, and hostels. Corporate jobs in home-sharing companies, such as Airbnb and VRBO, from which a student gets paid and/or job-verification from the home-sharing companies (e.g., a W-2 or paystub from Airbnb Corporate Office). While asset and property management companies for short-term residential companies (e.g., Sonder) can also count toward HWE, owning/running an Airbnb or other home-sharing facilities as a host do NOT count toward HWE.
  1. HWE in Restaurants
    Any positions in a chain or mom-and-pop restaurant, ranging from international restaurant chains to ice cream shops, food trucks, food stands, and ghost kitchens.
  1. HWE in the Managed Foodservice Industry
    Any positions in the managed foodservice sector, including those managed service accounts in correctional facilities, K-12/colleges/universities, stadiums, arenas, concert halls, corporate accounts, healthcare facilities, and museums.
  1. HWE in Food and Beverage Retail and Entertainment Business
    Any positions in specialized food and beverage retail stores, such as Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh, Trader Joe’s, Total Wine & More, a local frame store, or an entertainment facility (e.g., a theater). Other relevant positions may also include (a) Positions with a strong food and beverage focus in a more traditional retail outlet, such as positions handling produce, meat, pastry, cheese, and wine cellar in a supermarket or Target and Walmart, and (b) Positions handling food and beverage delivery, such as Uber Eats, DoorDash, and Grubhub.
  1. HWE in the Private Clubs
    Any positions in country clubs, city clubs, yacht clubs, and other private clubs.
  1. HWE in Park and Recreations
    Any positions in federal, state, county, or municipal recreation and park departments, such as those in national or state parks.
  1. HWE in Amusement Parks
    Any positions in amusement parks, such as Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studios, and Knott’s Berry Farm.
  1. HWE in Event Management and Convention Facilities, DMCs, or CVBs
    Any positions in event planning companies or convention facilities, destination marketing companies (DMCs), and Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVBs).
  1. HWE in e-Commerce Sectors in the Tourism Industry
    Any positions in an e-commerce site, digital distributor, or logistics within the hospitality and tourism industries, such as those at the corporate offices or branches in,,,,, and Experience in a travel agency or for the agency’s e-commerce site can also count toward HWE.
  1. HWE in Air/Ground Mass Transportation and Cruise Lines for Group Passengers
    Any positions dealing with air or ground mass transportation and cruise lines for group passengers (not for cargos), such as airlines, airports, private jets, Amtrak, large limousines, buses, bus/train terminals, rental car companies, cruise lines, etc. Please note that other shipping/transportation work experiences for mostly non-food-or-beverage parcels or goods, such as those in FedEx, UPS, and USPS, do NOT count toward HWE. Likewise, on-call basis public transportation with small private vehicles, such as Uber or Lyft drivers, will NOT count toward HWE (please also note that there are significant differences between the work at Uber/Lyft headquarters and being employed as an Uber/Lyft driver).
  1. HWE in Consulting or Marketing Firms with a Focus on Hospitality and Tourism
    Any positions in consulting or marketing firms that are specialized in hospitality and tourism products, such as those in CoStar, HVS, JLL, and CBRE Hotels. Likewise, positions in the commercial real estate division in an investment bank, such as Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, will also count. Jobs in experiential marketing (the process of creating an experience for the customer rather than approaching them through traditional marketing methods) can also count.
  1. HWE in Business-to-Business Suppliers for the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
    Employers in this sector may include Cintas, Ecolab, etc.
  1. HWE in Food and Beverage Operations or Event Planning in a Non-Hospitality Sector
    Most likely, this type of HWE can also be classified under HWE in the Managed Foodservice Industry or HWE in Event Management and Convention Facilities. A student shall submit a clear job description about the position to the instructor and seek approval from the instructor before accepting the job offer.
  1. HWE in Spas and Wellness Facilities
    Positions in this area may include licensed massage therapists, skin care practitioners, nail technicians, receptionists, housekeepers, locker room attendants, sales representatives, marketing associates, HR specialists, retail support, and maintenance staff.
  1. Entrepreneurs in the Hospitality and Tourism Industries
    Business owners who own and manage a business in one of the areas listed above can also count their hours of operating their own company/firm toward the 800 hours of HWE .

Students are strongly recommended to check with instructors of HRT 3410 Hospitality Work Experience or their faculty/academic advisors to confirm whether their work experience can fulfill the 800 hours of HWE requirement, especially those experiences that are listed above.