SHRM Internships Often Lead to Employment

Posted: Thursday, September 3rd 2015 at 4:29 PM

By MacKenzie Chase, FCB Writer

NAU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Management (SHRM) has always had a strong emphasis on experience. SHRM students are required to graduate with 1,200 hours of hospitality work experience. Between this network as well as meeting recruiters at SHRM career fairs each semester and connecting with successful alumni in SHRM’s ‘Fireside Chats,’ nearly 70% of their students already have a full-time hospitality job as they graduate.

Diamond Resorts International, along with many other hospitality companies, return year after year to recruit at NAU. They’ve formed a relationship with the school and continue to come back because the quality of students they work with in internships and other positions has remained consistently high.

This summer, four students were accepted into a 12-week internship program with Diamond. Caroline King, Johnathon Mendoza, Chadd Winter, and Abigail Baca Arzate were trained for different positions including housekeeping, maintenance, and revenue management in each of the four properties Diamond owns in Sedona. 

King had her eye on the company for a while and networked with representatives when they came to campus for career fairs. When looking for an internship, she ultimately chose Diamond.

“It was a good opportunity because this was the first time they’ve ever done an internship like this,” she said. 

The interns rotated between positions at the Ridge on Sedona Golf Resort, Sedona Summit, Bell Rock Inn, and Los Abrigados Resort and Spa. Their days were never dull and they were able to test the waters to see what position they might be interested in doing full time.

“I really love the hustle and bustle of housekeeping,” King said, “and the front desk was fun because I worked with a really good group of people. It’s a lot of hours and you have guests who sometimes aren’t happy with you about little things that aren’t even your fault, but you bond over that.”

King and the rest of the interns from NAU carpooled from Flagstaff to Sedona each day for work. They also visited the corporate office in Las Vegas along with interns from a few of the other Diamond locations.

In an e-mail, Stephanie Orbe, general manager at Bell Rock Inn, wrote, “We are enjoying having Johnathon, Abigail, Caroline, and Chadd with us for the summer. They have made quite a great impression at Diamond and  [are a] great representation for NAU.”

King graduated with her bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management this past May and was hired to work the front desk at Bell Rock Inn part time after the internship ended. She will also be starting a new internship at the Los Abrigados location to help with events, banquets, and direct billing for Diamond.

“I know when they were looking to hire for the front desk they weren’t necessarily looking for someone who was doing an internship at the same time, but they were willing to work with me and help me succeed so that’s really something I appreciate,” she concluded.

Categories: fbn nbn flagstaff business news nau business news fall 2015 september 2015 2015 diamond resorts international shrm school of hotel and restaurant management chadd winter abigail baca arzate johnathon mendoza caroline king ridge on sedona golf resort sedona summit bell rock inn los abrigados resort and spa stephanie orbe what i did on my summer vacation shrm internships often lead to employment