Sherry Andre likes to keep one foot in the classroom and one in the hospitality industry. When the associate professor is not teaching, she works for the Miami Heat as manager of sales administration, where she’s been since 2001. Her close ties to the industry have connected her students in sports/entertainment/event management and food and beverage management with industry experience.
Andre has taken her Public Assembly Facilities Management class for tours of sports facilities like Dolphin Stadium and the American Airlines Arena. Other classes have had guest speakers from the Miami Heat and the Florida Panthers — all personal contacts. Andre makes it a point to share her experiences and the challenges she faces in the industry. Recently, one class practiced making sales calls with the manager from the sales department at the Miami Heat. Other classes have had real-world lessons too. The Guest Services System class role-played problem solving, the Strategic Management class regularly examines current issues that may affect business as if they were “mini Trumps” in the boardroom and another learned how food and beverage sales can make or break a business by actually selling their own products on campus.
“You can learn from the textbook and it’s good to understand the terms and theories, but a lot of times in the real world, things do not play out exactly like the textbook," says Andre.