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Requirements for VBTTF Scholarship Program and Virginia Aquarium Internship Program

 
VBTTF Scholarship Program

The Virginia Beach Travel and Tourism Foundation endeavors to identify and reward the best and brightest of the hospitality and tourism industry’s next generation of leaders. To do so, each school year it asks students meeting certain basic requirements to complete and submit an application and other required information, write a short essay, and, if scheduled, appear before a VBTTF interview panel.  The Foundation is offering multiple $500 scholarships.

 

Basic requirements to apply for a VBTTF scholarship are:

  • The student must be a Virginia Beach resident attending an accredited public, private, or for-profit college or univeristy in the Commonwealth of Virginia and pursuing an associate, bachelor or an advanced degree.
  • Must have been a designated culinary arts, hospitality and tourism management or another related discipline for at least one semester or quarter prior to applying for a scholarship.
  • Enrolled as either a full or part-time student in at least 6 credits at the time application is made.
  • Have earned a 3.00 overall CGPA for all semesters or quarters completed.
  • Must have verifiable hospitality industry work experience beyond required internships and extra-curricular activities.

 

How to apply for a VBTTF scholarship:

The application form must be completed and submitted with the following attachments:

  • A current resume of education, work experience, and other relevant information, along with a letter of recommendation and support from at least one current or previous employer from within the past 12 months.
  • A copy of the transcript of classes completed and grades at your current school and the classes currently being taken. The transcript may be down-loaded from the school website.
  • An essay of no more than 500 words on the following topics – What inspired me to pursue a career in the hospitality industry and how will a VBTTF Scholarship enable me to achieve my personal and career goals?

 

Applications are accepted by the VBTTF throughout the school year.

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The scholarship process:

  • All communications between the Foundation and the student concerning the scholarship process will be via telephone and/or e-mail.
  • Qualified applicants will be notified of the date, time, and place of their interview, if scheduled and will be conducted by a panel of VBTTF directors. Applicants will be judged on leadership capabilities, industry experience, extra-curricular activities, clarity of personal and career goals, and both written and verbal communication skills.
  • Not all persons selected to be interviewed will receive a scholarship. Selection is made in a non-discriminatory fashion in terms of race, creed, color, sex, religion, national origin, ethnic group, disability, age, sexual orientation or any other legally protected characteristic. Those who are awarded a scholarship will be notified via telephone and/or e-mail. Payments will be made when evidence of current registration in the applicable school year of at least 6 credits has been received by the Foundation. Qualified education expenses include tuition and fees; and course-related expenses such as books, supplies and equipment.  VBTTF scholarship checks will be made payable to the student.

 

 

Virginia Aquarium Internship Program

The Virginia Beach Travel and Tourism Foundation (VBTTF) is offering to a deserving college student who is studying culinary arts, hospitality, tourism management or another related discipline, the opportunity to intern at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center during the Summer 2014.  The internship program will involve training in Guest Services, which includes frontline ticketing, group sales, merchandise sales and movie theater ticketing, to get a better understanding of the overall operations of an entertainment facility.  This is an exciting and unique way to build experience and work skills through project work to help maximize the profitability of the Virginia Aquarium’s operations and to enhance the image of the state’s largest entertainment venue of its type.  An interview panel will determine the recipient of this internship.  The VBTTF is offering a $1,000 stipend for this 160-hour program.  Upon completion of the program, the intern will provide an oral report to the senior leadership team at the Virginia Aquarium.

Requirements

The student must:

1) Be a Virginia Beach resident attending an accredited public, private or for-profit college or university in the Commonwealth of Virginia and pursuing an associate, bachelor or an advanced degree;

2) Have been designated culinary arts, hospitality and tourism management or another related discipline for at least two semesters;

3) Be enrolled as either a full or part time student at the time the application is made;

4) Have earned a 3.0 overall CGPA and

5) Provide verifiable hospitality industry work experience.  

How to Apply

The application form must be completed by April 30th and submitted with the following attachments:

1) A current resume of education, work experience and other relevant information, along with a letter of recommendation and support from at least one current or previous employer from within the past 12 months;

2) A copy of the transcript of classes completed and grades at your current school and the classes currently being taken and

3) An essay of no more than 500 words on the following topic – Give a personal example of what it means “to meet or exceed guests expectations.”

 

Program Information

The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is always looking for ways to improve our relationship with oceanfront hotels.  Quality customer service is our top priority.

The intern will spend the first three weeks experiencing all aspects of a guest’s visit.  The intern will experience ticketing, reservations, IMAX and store operations.  In each area there will be a strong focus on quality customer service.  The last week will be spent focusing on their final project.  This internship will include some weekends.  


Week one – Ticketing:

  • Be able to provide general Aquarium information to guests
  • Shadow admissions staff to learn selling tickets, upselling, collecting donations and selling memberships.
  • Learn the responsibilities of all three ticket taking positions
  • Participate in IMAX host position
  • Track observations
  • Approx. 35-40 hours


Week two – Stores:

  • Shadow the inventory manager to follow the merchandise flow
  • Assist merchandiser in creating displays
  • Shadow store manager on sales floor to learn selling techniques
  • Spend time with buyer discussing merchandise selection
  • Track observations
  • Approx. 35-40 hours


Week three – Guest Services:

  • Gain an understanding of how reservations are created
  • Answer phones
  • Participate and observe a behind the scene program from a guests’ perspective
  • Focus on consignment ticket sales with our hotel partners, military bases and campgrounds
  • Track observations
  • Approx. 35-40 hours


Week Four – Final Project:

  • Develop a plan to find ways of improving our relationships with hotels that will increase our sales
  • Create a survey involving three current hotels and six hotels of various sizes that do not currently use our consignment tickets
  • Oral report
  • Approx. 35-40 hours
 
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