Work Experience Information and Forms

Work Experience

In addition to your academic requirements, the college requires 1,000 hours (500 hours for Second Degree) of employment in the hospitality industry. It may be met during the school year or in summers and does not have to be done in Las Vegas. You can work on completing your hours throughout your time at UNLV, but all hours must be completed and the verification of all hours turned in to the Bob Boughner Career Center before you can graduate. If you apply for graduation, then fail to turn in your hours prior to the end of your graduation semester, you will not graduate and will need to reapply for graduation, paying another graduation fee for the semester you plan to turn in your verification.

International Students

International students must see the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS) before working, to verify eligibility for off-campus employment and obtain a work permit. A separate work permit must be obtained for each job experience. Note that once hours have been completed, it will not be possible to obtain a work permit for additional job opportunities. International students must be enrolled in an in-person class during the semester they will be completing their work experience hours.

Learning Outcomes for Hospitality Industry Work Experience Requirement

  • The objective of the hospitality work experience requirement is to ensure that students have a balance between theory and practice in the industry. Students will:
  • Learn more about their career interests and gain valuable experience in the various parts of the hospitality industry;
  • Recognize, develop and practice the skills they will need in order to be successful in their future careers;
  • Put their classroom theory to use in the industry and gain further insights into their academic assignments;
  • Be able to compare and contrast different types of companies, organizational cultures and work environments, while learning to make intelligent career choices;
  • Improve their eventual employment marketability upon graduation.

Type of Work

Work hours must be done in the hospitality industry. Remember that the purpose of this requirement is to enhance your ability to obtain a position in the hospitality industry and should be consistent with your career goals. These hours should be listed on your resume to demonstrate to a potential employer that you are “right for the job” you are seeking.

Customer Service Outside Hospitality – Limited to 250 hour maximum

The only exception that can be made to working in the hospitality industry is working at a job that has a strong customer service element. A big part of the job must include attention to customer satisfaction. “Customer” is defined as individuals paying for or receiving services provided by the company you represent. Approval of these hours is subject to the discretion of the Career Center staff. Ask before you work. A maximum of 250 hours can be used in this category. All other work hours must be done in the hospitality industry.

Example: although working as receptionist in a law office is outside of the hospitality industry, because this job requires extensive contact with the public, you can use up to 250 hours toward your Work Experience requirement.

To complete the requirement, the remainder of hours must be done in the hospitality industry

Times 10 Credit (x10) – Limited to 250 hour maximum (25 actual hours)

The “Times 10 Credit” designation is given only to events sponsored by the college and must have college faculty collecting and reporting student hours. Any volunteer work that is not affiliated with the College will apply as actual hours worked and must be hospitality related. Once you reach the 250 hour max, all volunteer work credit will be given on a one-to-one basis. (e.g., 8 hours worked = 8 hours of credit). To complete the Work Experience requirement, the remainder of hours must be done in the hospitality industry.

Verification

To receive credit paystubs should be submitted, provided they contain your name, the name of the establishment where you completed the work (not the parent company name, e.g., ABC Inc.), and the number of hours worked can be determined. It is not necessary to provide all of your check stubs, just use the last stub in each year you worked. This stub will provide the year-to-date earnings which we will divide by your rate of pay to calculate the number of hours worked.

Alternatively, you may have your employer verify the position you held and hours worked. They can use the Work Experience Verification form with their business card attached, or give you a letter on company letterhead with their business card attached, stating the position, dates and hours worked.

The most important information to include is:

  • Dates of Employment;
  • Number of Hours;
  • Position Held;
  • Supervisor’s Name and Contact Information;
  • Proof of Supervisor Position with the Company (business card, letterhead, etc.); and
  • Additional Documents, Such As a Business License or Federal Tax ID may be required to verify the legitimacy of the company. The company where you worked must be a legal company operating under legal authorization issued by the appropriate governing agency

Work Experience FAQs

Why is work experience important?

Hospitality recruiters and hiring managers look for more than a degree. Your work experience will be a critical component along with education, leadership ability, and interpersonal skills to your obtaining a career-tracked position after graduation.

What type of work should I complete for this requirement?

All work must be done in a segment of the hospitality industry. The purpose of this requirement is to enhance your ability to obtain a position in your desired field. Your work should be consistent with your career goals. These hours will be listed on your resume to demonstrate to a potential employer that you are “right for the job” you are seeking.

Why does it have to be in the hospitality industry?

We have made a commitment to our industry leaders that experiential learning will be a strong component in our degree program. They expect that all of our graduates will have worked in the hospitality industry to satisfy their work experience and internship requirements. Adhering to these standards ensures the value of your degree and meets our obligation to both the industry and our students.

How many hours must I complete?

In addition to your academic requirements, the Harrah College of Hospitality requires each student to complete 1,000 hours of work experience (500 hours for second bachelor’s degree program) in the hospitality industry. Hours completed as part of any other academic requirement cannot be applied to this, including internships for credit or service learning.

Why are some hours limited?

Times 10 Credit – Some past graduates, who relied solely on volunteer hours to complete their Work Experience, have reported having difficulty finding work after graduation due to lack of experience. Because of this, starting in Fall 2011, a limit of 250 hours was placed on all “Times 10” work.

Customer Service outside of hospitality – In the past, credit for any work outside the hospitality industry was denied. However, we recognize that any experience in customer service would help you to perform better in a hospitality job, so starting in Fall 2011, we decided to allow a limited number of hours (250) from jobs outside hospitality with a strong customer service component.

How do I obtain credit for my hours?

To receive credit, you must have your employer verify the position you held and the hours worked. Hours worked prior to joining the college will be accepted as long as verification is provided in the required format. If the company has gone out of business, you cannot obtain proof in the form we require, or we are unable to connect with the employer to verify your work, you cannot use those hours.

How can I verify my hours?
  1. Provide a paystub preprinted with your name, name of the establishment, and number of hours worked (or hours can be determined based on gross pay and hourly rate). Submit the last stub in each year you worked. You must also submit the completed Work Experience Verification Form.
  2. Your employer may provide you with a letter on company letterhead with accompanying business card, stating the position, dates, and hours worked. You must also submit the completed Work Experience Verification Form.
  3. A College of Hospitality faculty member submits hours on your behalf for work completed as part of a UNLV event or sponsored activity. You must also submit the completed Work Experience Verification Form.
  4. Your employer may complete the Work Experience Verification Form, which can be found in the OSA home page. A business card from the company representative signing the form must be included with the submission, so we can easily contact your supervisor to verify the information you provided.
Where do I submit my verification?

Verifications are to be delivered to the Bob Boughner Career Center located on the first floor of Beam Hall (BEH 126). The Work Experience Coordinator will review your submission to be sure it’s complete, then call your supervisor to authenticate the information you have provided. The form can be obtained on the OSA home page.

Do I need to register for a work experience course?

No, you do not register for a work experience course. When you submit your final verification to complete the required hours, the Career Center staff will notify the Registrar that your requirement has been satisfied. Remember that you must have all verifications submitted by finals week of the semester you plan to graduate. If your hours are not received and recorded prior to finals week of your final semester, you will not graduate and will have to reapply for graduation for the following semester, paying an additional graduation fee. It is your responsibility to keep track of the hours you submit and know how many are remaining. If you would like to check the amount of hours on file, stop by the office anytime. No appointment is necessary.

How will I know when the requirement has been satisfied?

You may check the status of your work experience completion at any time in MyUNLV by running your degree audit. The link to your degree audit can be found in your Student Center in the “other academic…” drop down menu (see below). Click on “Academic Requirements” to see your audit. Work Experience is found near the bottom on the audit and will show either “Not Satisfied” or “Satisfied.”

  1. Access your MyUNLV Account.
  2. Click on Student Center.
  3. Select “Academic Requirements” from the drop down menu.
  4. Once your audit appears, scroll down to Hospitality Management Work Experience (Milestone) and check status.
MyUNLV drop down menu
What experience hours will be accepted?

Remember that the goal of work experience is to increase your employment marketability and post-graduation career growth.

Ideally, all 1,000 hours will be in a hospitality position related to your career interests. Remember, without direct experience, it will be difficult for you to secure a career-tracked position after graduation.

Hours That Will Be Accepted With No Restrictions Towards The Work Experience Requirement
Type Maximum Hours That May Be Applied
Resort - Any Position 1000
Hotel – Any Position 1000
Restaurant – Any Position 1000
Theme Park – Any Position 1000
Nightclub/Bar/Tavern – Any Position 1000
Quick Service/Fast Food – Any Position 1000
Casino – Any Position 1000
Airline – Any Position 1000
Cruise Line – Any Position 1000
Ground Transportation Company – Any Position 1000
Event Planning Company – Any Position 1000
Banquet/Event Facility – Any Position 1000
Tour Company – Any Position 1000
Travel Agency – Any Position 1000
Arena – Any Position 1000
Beverage Sales and Distribution Company – Any Position 1000
Gaming Regulation – Any Position 1000
Gaming Technology Company – Any Position 1000
Retail (only inside a resort hotel) – Any Position 1000
Hours That Will Be Accepted With Restrictions Towards The Work Experience Requirement
Type Maximum Hours That May Be Applied
General Customer Service Experience Positions Focused on Customer Service. Please note that service must be an essential function of the position! Examples Include:
  • Retail Positions Not In a Resort Hotel Including Mall Retail, Mass Retail (Walmart, Target), Outlet Stores, Hardware Stores, and Grocery Stores
  • Outside Sales
  • Recreation and Athletic Facilities
  • Service Provider Offices
250
Times 10 Credit Volunteer Opportunities: University, College, or Industry Events Advertised through Faculty or the Harrah College of Hospitality Listserv at Times 10 Credit Select events, typically college functions, are offered with times 10 credit (1 hour worked = 10 hours work experience credit). The coordinating faculty member approves these events in advance and must report the hours directly to the Director of Advising by email. Do not assume the work is for times 10 credit. Verify credit with the faculty member who is sponsoring the event. 250