Graduating Senior Lands Coveted Internship in Luxury Hotel Market

UM hospitality management student Victor Moreno joins Four Seasons Dallas

Victor Muñagorri Moreno prepares plantains in the kitchen at Lenoir Dining, the UM student-run restaurant housed in the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. Photo by Sarah Sapp/School of Applied Sciences

OXFORD, Miss. – Two weeks after Victor Muñagorri Moreno crosses the graduation stage May 11 at the University of Mississippi, he heads off for the summer to fulfill the final requirements for his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management through an internship at one of the world’s premier brands in luxury travel.

Muñagorri has accepted a position as an intern in the food and beverage division of Four Seasons Resort and Club Dallas at Las Colinas to get his foot in the door in the luxury hotel market, which is expected to reach approximately $194 billion in value by 2021.

For Muñagorri, it was his love of travel and people that drew him to the industry and brought him almost 5,000 miles from home in Marbella, Spain, to study hospitality in the American South.

“I’ve always loved traveling, so I knew I wanted to get into hospitality and tourism,” Muñagorri said. “I liked to travel and experience different cultures.”

He wanted to learn English and told his mother when he was 16 that he wanted to travel. A friend of his father runs a company that helps students study abroad, so Muñagorri soon was headed to Mississippi.

“I didn’t even know what Mississippi was,” he said. “I ended up coming here for 12th grade for a year in Batesville. It was a culture shock, but I enjoyed it a lot.

“My host family was the Darbys, Sandra and Lesley. They have an older daughter and a son, (Ryan Darby), who is my age. He’s a senior graduating (from Ole Miss) in May.”

Chef Dru Jones (right) instructs Victor Muñagorri Moreno on getting the perfect sear on a Caribbean jerk chicken dish for Lenoir Dining. Photo by Sarah Sapp/School of Applied Sciences

At UM, Muñagorri loved the broad knowledge of the industry and operations management offered by the hospitality management program. He enjoyed cooking with chef Dru Jones through his coursework in Lenoir Dining, the program’s teaching laboratory and student-run restaurant.

He also completed a required 200-hour pre-internship with Main Event, the catering arm of City Grocery, owned and operated by James Beard Award-winning chef John Currence. In his spare time, Muñagorri also exercises his culinary muscles for Oxford restaurant El Agave and the Rebel Boilers crawfish food truck.

“Victor is one of those students that every faculty member delights in having,” said Mary Roseman, undergraduate program director for hospitality management. “His passion for the hospitality industry, enthusiasm for serving others and engaging personality with all individuals he encounters are key components of what makes one successful in the hospitality industry.”

Although he appreciates the work ethic he developed through his experience with the cooking side of hospitality, Muñagorri said the program sparked an even greater interest in the technical and development side of hotel and restaurant operations, including market studies, data analytics and management.

Muñagorri said he is grateful to his host family in Batesville; his brother, Fernando; mother, Fatima; and father, Fernando Sr., for all their support during his time at Ole Miss. They all plan to join him to celebrate his accomplishments at Commencement.