My chance to work and learn at one of the world’s largest food and wine events | FIU News

My chance to work and learn at one of the world’s largest food and wine events | FIU News

By Phuong Hoang, senior majoring in Hospitality Management at FIU Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, specializing in marketing 

Born and raised in Vietnam, I have usually been exposed to herbs and spices from my mother’s kitchen area no matter whether it be at house or by her perform as a recipe and menu developer. As considerably as I am grateful to have a family members engrossed in the restaurant marketplace, I have also dreamed of discovering about Western foodstuff and society, which are deemed luxuries again house. So, four a long time in the past, when I listened to about the likelihood to volunteer and maybe function with superstar cooks and restaurateurs at the Food stuff Community South Seaside Wine & Foods Pageant offered by Money 1 (SOBEWFF®), I turned a volunteer.

This is my fourth calendar year volunteering and this calendar year the emotion is just as thrilling as when I picked my pretty initially shifts. The complete knowledge is like going to course in a marginally distinct location, understanding from potential employers and applying talent sets when dealing with real looking situations.

As an intercontinental scholar, there are numerous employment restrictions when it will come to in search of work working experience. But at SOBEWFF®, any college student can do the job while earning scholarships. This calendar year is the 22nd anniversary of the Pageant. The motto of the Pageant is “EAT. Drink. Educate.” I was ready to do that with a palms-on finding out practical experience by getting on many roles that have given me a wonderful head get started to check out distinctive features of hospitality. For illustration, working in registration aided me fully grasp the entrance-going through side of customer company as I greeted and checked in friends. As an inventory clerk, I obtained a back again-of-dwelling standpoint from the loading docks.

My tale is only just one amid quite a few other passionate foreseeable future leaders who are at the moment pursuing their degree at FIU. Pupil volunteers occur from just about every important, together with engineering, psychology, architecture and even catastrophe management. In complete, more than 1,300 college students get the job done about 4,300 shifts at the Festival. 

My pal and fellow hospitality pupil Natalie Garcia is graduating with her bachelor’s in the fall. Natalie has experienced many experiences doing the job with SOBEWFF®, aiding out at significant legendary gatherings these kinds of as the Burger Bash and the Grand Tasting Village. This calendar year, she’s a volunteer guide at Wine Spectator’s Most effective of the Most effective getting spot at the famous Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

“I have been ready to greatly enhance several relevant capabilities these as teamwork, communication, adaptability, leadership and numerous extra,” Garcia explained. “I have volunteered in so a lot of distinctive positions for the reason that I needed to try one thing distinct every time and extend my knowledge inside of every single position. The most stunning point I’d say is the selection of connections one particular can make and the awesome memories.”

Nicolas Calvo Lozano is an intercontinental pupil from Colombia pursuing a learn of science in hospitality administration with a specialization in hospitality authentic estate improvement. Lozano has also carried out various roles such as party support, registration, logistics lead and, now, a volunteer recruitment coordinator.

“In the folks business, getting the option to be aspect of SOBEWFF® allows me to develop my creativity, apply my management capabilities, and enhance my trouble-solving expertise. I am a enormous fan of all kinds of activities and SOBEWFF® is a one of a kind working experience that I could not let go. How wonderful it is to guidance other people and guide people towards a shared objective!” Calvo said.

According to Lozano, his SOBEWFF® encounter has assisted condition his method to the buyer services field. From welcoming the first visitor on-internet site, to retaining a excellent workflow backstage, he suggests it’s all worth it many thanks to the exhilaration and sensation of good results when beating worries on the location. In addition, he suggests he’s come to be good at multitasking, negotiation, and leadership considering the fact that they’re aspect of a standard SOBEWFF® day, all when making associations with industry specialists.

As for me, this is my past Pageant. It’s bittersweet, but I have realized a whole lot and matured about the decades with just about every knowledge. My most important advice to other college students thinking about irrespective of whether or not to volunteer: Just do it. Even if you are not in hospitality, go ahead and consider the opportunity to be a portion of it, even if it is one particular or two shifts. The knowledge is worthwhile.

But for now, I’ll cherish my previous SOBEWFF® and just one day strategy to come back as a guest with my mother.

Learners nonetheless have a opportunity to be element of the SOBEWFF® volunteer plan, by reserving an on-line interview appointment at


Intercontinental college students Phuong Hoang (remaining) and Nga Chung BS ’22 volunteer and have exciting at the Competition.