SHRM students score at Super Bowl 2015 ~ before kickoff
A+ Student Staffing, a Texas-based national event party-planning company since 1995, was responsible for the Super Bowl XLIX Tailgate event that required the services of approximately 160 staff as bartenders, bussers, servers, etc. When set to the task of gathering that workforce, Michael Isenhour, national accounts director for A+ Student Staffing, reached out to all Arizona universities and community colleges for an interview pool.
At NAU, Isenhour found Suzanne Siler, SHRM program director for internships and career services. After on-campus interviews, Isenhour had a roster of 58 of the 160 students he needed to run the event. Said Isenhour, “This is a win-win situation. Students will gain real world experience at a major event and, as hospitality students, it also makes training easier for us.”
On February 1, the students were separated into groups and designated to specific pavilions. Rogelio Barroga was placed in the VIP area of the tailgating arena as a busser. In this role, he encountered many celebrities but was able to stay professional.
“As the VIP tailgating event finally commenced, each one of those NFL celebrities walked into our pavilion one by one for the next four hours, and I was in awe,” Barroga said. “Mark Wahlberg, Elizabeth Banks, Gavin Degraw, Kenny Chesney, and more. But it was important that we maintained our professionalism and contained our excitement.”
Alex Thornton was assigned to the West Pavilion next to the stage as a bartender. She took this experience as a lesson for her future in hospitality.
“Having had some bartending experience, I felt confident but slightly anxious of the clientele I would encounter. There were several thousand at this tailgate and the pace was fast,” Thornton said. “I learned that expectations should be put aside and rolling with the punches is the only way to go sometimes. Being a team player is crucial and multitasking is a must at these events.”
Jacquelyn Rozon was staffed as a specialty cocktail server at the Bloody Mary and Bloody Maria bar. She experienced the fast-paced reality of planning and managing large-scale events. [Photo, left: (l. to r.) Kim Del Rivero and Jacquie Rozon before being placed in their positions at the central area bars]
“It was chaos with how busy our station was; the time flew by,” Rozon said. “One thing I learned [is that] communication is crucial to a hosted bar’s success. It was so important to be a team player to help everyone out.”
Courtney Sowers was assigned to the Tostitos/ Pepsi booth in the Fan Plaza. "I used a lot of the experience that I already had to expand on the great things that we did at that booth. We served about 3,000-3,500 people in that three hour time span...the rush you got from working with other college students and the people that surrounded [us] really made the experience," said Sowers.
Olivia Simpson had a similar experience. “This event taught me running an event is not just a job, it’s an art. You need to have a vision of what is going to happen and if that changes, you need to be able to adapt... What I took away from this high-level event is that there is no such thing as star-struck. You have to treat everyone like they are a celebrity when it comes to their needs,” Simpson said. [Photo, right: “Eagerly awaiting our pavilion placement. It was foggy and cold but nothing was stopping us from making this the best Super Bowl VIP Tailgate in history,” declared Simpson.]
"Many try to accomplish the things that only some get to actually do, and I am one of the fortunate ones that get to say that I was at Super Bowl XLIX," Sowers concluded.
The Post-Event Win
Isenhour looks forward to continuing this win-win connection between A+ Student Staffing and SHRM while SHRM students gained valuable experience in their future fields, scoring high for their resume development at this world-class event.
More about A+ Student Staffing
“We specialize in finding college students, recent grads, and professionals for clients across the nation. Our candidates and employees are clean cut, energetic, and professional. They are eager to take on new challenges and opportunities.
“Founded in 1995, A+ Student Staffing has perfected the art of recruiting exceptional students and professionals. All staff participate in a three step interview process. All staff must pass a criminal background check. All staff must communicate well and have reliable transportation. Only the best candidates make the cut and become part of the A+ Student Staffing team.”
Isenhour shared that A+ Student Staffing is embarking on a development tour in 2015 and one of the four cities targeted for expansion in four years is Phoenix. He looks forward to continuing this win-win connection between A+ Student Staffing and SHRM.
Categories: super bowl nbn february issue 2015 flagstaff business news nau business news spring 2015 2015 students shrm a+ student staffing suzanne siler michael isenhour rogelio barroga alex thornton jacquelyn rozon olivia simpson