The Florida State College of Business launched a new major this summer that will prepare students to manage private clubs and golf resorts around the world with a unique mix of academic and experiential requirements.
Within the multi-billion dollar private club industry—which includes golf, country, athletic, city, yacht and other luxury clubs—there has been a tremendous shift in growth from the U.S. and Great Britain to countries in Asia, South America and Africa. The new Global Club Management major in the college’s Dedman School of Hospitality is the first of its kind to respond to this trend.
“This trend in globalization is offering incredible career opportunities for students who have an interest in world travel and foreign cultures,” said Dr. Don Farr, interim assistant dean for Academic Affairs and the Don & Frances Veller Professor in Professional Golf Management. “Following the 2016 Summer Olympics, which will include golf for the first time in over a hundred years, the trend should continue for a long time.”
What sets the new Global Club Management major apart is a combination of courses in business, hospitality and the private club industry, complemented by requirements that uniquely prepare students for the management of multinational domestic and foreign hospitality organizations. For example, a global component requires that students take either an international internship, a domestic internship with a multinational corporation, or a study abroad experience with Florida State International Programs.
“Cultural awareness is a difficult thing to teach in the classroom,” said Cynthia Johnson, program director. “It comes easier from the experience of living or working in a foreign country or a multicultural environment.”
And competence in cultural awareness is what private clubs and golf resorts are seeking in future managers as they expand into global markets, says Johnson. In multicultural settings, students develop an awareness of their own cultural values, beliefs and perceptions in contrast to those around them. They also have the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge outside the academic world.
Established in 1947, the Dedman School of Hospitality has a long history of placing students in internships throughout the U.S. and abroad Since 1970, its faculty members have taught hospitality courses each summer in Leysin, Switzerland. The Global Club Management major will offer internships at clubs and resorts in Scotland, Wales, Hong Kong and mainland China. Future internship sites are being planned for other European countries as well as for Panama, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.