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HM Success Stories

Here is what people are saying about Mission College's Hospitality Management program

"Thanks to the education that I received as a graduate of Mission's Hospitality Management program, I have become a better chef, author, businessman, leader, and mentor. In fact, my degree from Mission College has been instrumental in opening doors and providing opportunities that I am still realizing--even to this day."

– Jeff Weiss, Chef, and Author of Charcuteria

“I am always happy to welcome to our Department of Hospitality Management  the Mission College Hospitality transfers.  They are excellent products of the hard work the faculty does over there!  I am equally proud to say that my own son is a Mission College hospitality major!

What I really appreciate is the feeling of camaraderie we have here at State with the Mission faculty.  We know we cannot provide culinary expertise the way Mission can, so not only do we articulate courses, but we recommend with no hesitation that any student interested in food and beverage should attend some classes at Mission College.”
– Dr. Kate Sullivan, Faculty, San Jose State and Advisory Board Member since 1989

“I was working in a single family restaurant prior, for three to four years and I wanted to find a community college program in the food industry so I could transfer to a four-year university. This program is very intensive. I went to school so I could start my journey in the food and beverage industry. I wanted to be a GM of a cruise ship or work for American Airlines. But I needed to start somewhere. (The program makes it) easier to understand the industry. It gives you a boost so you are able to move up faster.”
“Cost Control was hard, and Haze (Dennis) made it harder for me. But I appreciate that. At the end of the day, I was able to understand all points of view for any operation.”
– Oscar Ramirez, Purchasing Manager, San Jose Marriott

“The hospitality program at Mission College was the first choice I made when I was looking for a program that offered advancement in the hospitality field. I had been in the homeless veterans rehabilitation program (HVRP) in Menlo Park and I applied for assistance from Cal State Rehab. My counselor, after a good conversation, gave me the green light to find a school for what it was that I had been doing most of my life and was still interested in. When I visited Mission College and saw the program facilities and read the information online I knew I have made a good choice.
The program has helped me in my current position a great deal and it has led to a promotion to a higher management position within the company.”
– Earl Hargrove, Sales Associate, Esther's German Bakery, and transfer student

"It really provided me with a basis and a foundation (for what I'm doing now). It's like when you take Spanish, 1, 2, 3 in high school and you don't know a lick of Spanish. It gives you a foundation and one day it finally comes to you. I know own two restaurants and a catering business up in Seattle and Mission College prepared my for that day."

-- Shubert Ho

A graduate of Mission’s Hospitality Management Program, Rhonda Manning  is the chef/owner of House of Soul Food, one of Silicon Valley’s most popular soul food dining establishments. Inspired by her mother and grandmother’s ability to create delicious traditional southern style dishes and feed the entire neighborhood, Rhonda was drawn to into the kitchen at an early age.

Although Rhonda grew up with a passion for the kitchen, she initially chose to pursue a career in the electronics field and planned to earn a BS Degree in Electrical Engineering. During the year 1999, a life event caused Rhonda to change her career plans and she enrolled in Mission’s Hospitality Management Program. She found the program both challenging and comprehensive. Rhonda learned everything she needed to know to own, operate and manage a restaurant. Just as she was about to graduate from the Hospitality Management Program, she bought her first restaurant and opened the doors for business only four days after commencement. Mission’s Hospitality Management Program provided a Rhonda with a solid foundation for success and at the end of her first year, her restaurant made a profit.

What Rhonda loves most about serving southern style comfort food is that it brings people together, nurtures community and makes people happy. House of Soul Food specialties include brisket, barbecue ribs, fried chicken, catfish, collard greens, and mac and cheese.

Rhonda’s advice to future chefs: attend all of your classes and pay close attention to what’s being taught. Everything you learn will be of great benefit and help you to be successful in your future culinary career. Rhonda also credits Haze Dennis and Scott Brunson with providing the support and expert advice she needed to be successful.

– Ronda Manning, Owner, House of Soul Food (four days after she graduated from Mission College, she opened House of Soul Food). 

“Mission College’s Hospitality Management Program fully prepared me to enter the industry due, in part, to the program’s focus on leadership skills, while providing extensive hands-on opportunities to work creatively with a diverse team of peers”

–  Lurraine Rees, Mission College graduate and associate faculty member