Writer: Austin Craig
Nick Mitchell will be spending this summer surrounded by sandy beaches, exotic marine life and dormant volcanoes, all while receiving invaluable experience in his field of study.
A senior at New Mexico State University majoring in hotel, restaurant and tourism management, Mitchell will be spending three months as an intern at the Pearl Harbor Naval Base in Hawaii. Internships are required for HRTM students, but Mitchell had no idea he would be completing his on a tropical island.
"I had no choice in the location. You apply and they tell you where you're going," Mitchell said.
Mitchell is participating in the Navy Morale, Welfare and Recreation program and will be managing special events and festivals while at Pearl Harbor.
"The big event for the summer will be the Fourth of July festival with musicians, rides and booths. They are expecting 15,000 people, and only my boss and I will be running it," Mitchell said.
As the only intern in the Navy MWR program focusing on special events, Mitchell has shown his dedication to the field. He said he is going to wait until the internship is complete to decide whether or not he will continue working with the Navy, but said he definitely wants to stay in the special events profession.
Mitchell has been working in the hospitality industry for eight years. He has managed restaurants in College Station, Texas, and worked for the Marriott in Colorado. He said he's very excited about visiting Hawaii and experiencing the islands. "It's great to be stationed in such a historic place and be able to work in the industry," Mitchell said.
Mitchell will leave his wife and home in El Paso May 16 and will not return until August 18. Fortunately, Mitchell said, his wife will be visiting him in Hawaii.
NMSU offers the state's only bachelor's degree in HRTM and the program is ranked among the top in the nation. Construction is starting on a new technology laboratory projected to open in fall 2006 and the school has launched an online degree completion program.
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