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A taste of hospitality work

Woman holding Hershey chocolate bar

Senior Annie Gallagher said the three things that stand out to her about Mitchell College are its access to learning opportunities, its dedicated leadership and its strong student supports, such as the Bentsen Learning Center and the tutoring center.

Taken together, they helped her successfully pursue a summer internship at The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Penn.

“Mitchell does a great job of leading their students to where they want to go in the future,” Annie said.

After submitting her application and participating in a video interview, Annie was accepted as a recreation intern at the resort hotel. The hospitality and tourism major put lessons learned in Resort Management and Introduction to Hospitality to work, as she gained real-world experience in the “chocolate capital of the world.”

“When I started my internship, I heard about how we had to deal with guest complaints. That got me really nervous because I didn’t think I would be able to handle all of that pressure. But as the days went on, it got easier,” Annie said.

She learned that there are ways to handle complaints, such as issuing discounts to appease unhappy guests. In her work with guests and fellow employees, she honed her skills in problem solving, communication and social interaction every day.

A typical day for Annie consisted of making rounds to check on and help with different activity sites on the campus of the historic hotel, including the Cocoa Clubhouse for kids, outdoor pool and sports complex.

“My favorite part of my internship was being able to interact with the guests and kids. Whenever I saw a kid having a good time, it made me so happy. I realized that I love being surrounded by kids, so, when thinking about what I want to do in the hospitality industry after graduation, recreation is definitely an option for me.”

In addition to immersing herself in this five-day-a-week learning opportunity, another benefit of working at The Hershey Hotel were the fun perks, including discounts at Hershey stores and restaurants and free admission to Hersheypark – all in all, a sweet way to spend the summer in “The Sweetest Place on Earth.”