Rising from No. 32 five years ago to No. 5 in 2023 “Best Hospitality and Hotel Management Schools” list compiled by CEOWORLD Magazine, The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona showcases its high quality.
Several components went into The Collins College new No. 5 rank including the quality of the program, academic reputation, job placement rate, specialization, as well as survey responses from approximately 185,000 recruiters, employers and graduates, according to PolyCentric. .
“The high-ranking gives me a sense of pride knowing that I graduated from Cal Poly Pomona,” said Kelley Liu (’17, hospitality).
Liu has gone on to work in the restaurant industry and worked her way up to a management position at King’s Fish House while attributing her successful career in part to CPP.
According to Liu, when companies see graduates from Cal Poly Pomona and they do a good job, then in the future the companies will look at incoming candidates who also graduated from CPP. This is now taken into higher consideration because they know the school produces experienced and quality graduates.
“Some of my peers and I at Collins College were talking about how it’s impressive because obviously people think of French schools and international schools when it comes to hospitality,” said Ivan Gachupin, hospitality student. “So, it’s pretty cool that we rank so high.”
The restaurant at Kellogg Ranch is CPP’s seasonal New American restaurant run completely by students in The Collins College who are studying hospitality management.
“As I pursue my career it’s easy to refer back to the high Collins College ranking, and it’s something to be proud of and flex our alma mater,” said Gachupin.
With CPP’s “learning by doing” mantra, hospitality students like Gachupin are able to get hands-on experience by working in the student-run restaurant and perform in real-world roles at Kellogg Ranch.
Gachupin believes the high-ranking college provides students with the necessary resources for success.
“Cal Poly Pomona does a really good job of connecting students with other people in the industry,” said Gachupin. “I have my professors who encourage me to talk to different companies that visit campus as well as the Board of Advisors who come by at least once a semester. There’s always things happening at the top of the hill like job opportunities, internships and programs that get students into their career. So, it leads to a culture where a lot of the Collins graduates are confident and not too many of us have that fear of graduating, and not knowing what to do.”
This accomplishment and highly sought after ranking is corroborated by the alumni’s success in the current hospitality industry.
“I really enjoyed going to Cal Poly and I don’t think it necessarily surprises me because of the quality of the kind of education I got,” said Krystal Nakanishi (’17, hospitality).
Nakanishi attributed the teachers and the different career fairs as the most inspiring aspects of being at CPP.
“Being able to meet other industry professionals is inspiring and humbling, and it inspired me to be the best that I can in this field,” said Nakanishi. “Those kinds of moments are what made me so passionate about this industry.”
Nakanishi was a part of one of the clubs on campus and she had the opportunity to go to Harper Bazaar and take a tour of the Hotel del Coronado.
“I think that those opportunities are specific to the college experience,” said Nakanishi. “Once you come into the workforce you think back to the very, very cool private tours of places you would never get to do otherwise, and I think that’s one of those parts of college to take advantage of.”