Alumni Advice for Hospitality Grads

Alumni Advice for Hospitality Grads

Alumni Advice for Hospitality Grads banner

As a working professional who is also working toward your online degree, you are probably always looking for advice as to how you can better yourself and your career. Whether you are already working full-time in your field or are attempting to obtain that first bit of experience, there is always room for improvement and a new lesson to be learned.

On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, a group of 10 JWU Providence alumni traveled back to campus to sit on a professional panel during the Alumni Leaders on Campus program, a partnership between the Office of Alumni Relations and the College of Hospitality Management. While they answered questions about their jobs, the industry, and their specific paths to success, they were also happy to give guidance and advice to current JWU students, many of whom are studying in similar fields.

These alumni, who ranged from regional general manager to senior event support specialist, answered questions about a variety of topics from moderator and JWU professor Lee Esckilsen— as well as from the student audience. Here’s what they had to say on the topic of career advice.

How do you keep going during these long hours and weeks working in the hospitality industry?

“You have to love what you do in order to find the positives and keep going.” — Shaun La Gala ’12, assistant director of front office operations at Marriott International

“Every day, you will either win or you will learn. Make sure to take something away from each day at work.” — Taylor Coyne ’14, ’15 MBA, strategic accounts at Amadeus IT Group

“Lead with positive intent and you will never have a bad day.” – Maferly Reyes ’15, associate market manager at Expedia Group

How did Johnson & Wales University prepare you for your professional future?

“JWU taught me that it is important to get experience while still in college.” — Tobey Sanborn ’97, regional general manager at Newport Restaurant Group

“[I learned that you should] be nice and people will be nice back. People will always remember how you made them feel!” — La Gala

“In school, I was always encouraged to ask questions… that does not stop once you get into the workforce.” — Dan Schwartz ’07, general manager at The Vets

What is one piece of advice that you wish you knew before you graduated from college and entered the workforce?

“Be able to approach people with kindness and openness.” — Sanborn

“Don’t stray away from a part of the industry that you don’t believe you will be good at. You never know until you try.” — Colleen Marasco ’11, senior event support specialist at Ticketmaster

“Be able to take a step back from your work and focus on the good and the positives even when work can be stressful.” — Schwartz

If you are a current JWU student and are looking to connect with Experiential Education and Career Services, click here. For more information on how JWU Online can you help you pursue your career goals, contact us at 855-JWU-1881 or [email protected]. You can also fill out the “Request Info” form on this page.

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