More than a summer job
During the Summer of 2019 two HRM students – Hannah Dingman and Hannah Kemp participated an internship at Marriott Vacation Worldwide’s Desert Spring Villas in Palm Desert, CA. As part of their internship Dingman and Kemp led a team of 5 other interns within the Activities Department to create a final Product. Each intern was in charge of one section of the project, as the leaders, Dingman and Kemp were also available for any questions or concerns the interns may have had. Additionally, they communicated with their managers, giving them progress reports and solving questions.
The completed project was submitted via their managers, along with many other projects from the Western region, to corporate to see which would be chosen as a finalist for the entire region.
HRM was thrilled to learn that their project was selected as a regional finalist! We caught up with Kemp and Dingman to hear more about their internship and the project they completed.
Reflecting on their experience
HRM: How was your internship program structured and is there something you really enjoyed about your experience with MVW?
Hannah Kemp: The internship program is structured by MVW to highlight an area within a specific department that can not only be enhanced, but thereby have positive effects on other departments overall. In the Activities Department, Hannah Dingman, myself, and 5 other interns from several different universities worked together to create an internship project that focused on driving revenue to the Food & Beverage department from the pool, as well as increasing general Guest Satisfaction Scores through poolside experiences.
One thing I truly enjoyed about this internship was how much I grew as a person and how much I learned about myself as a leader. This internship provided me with so much more than just knowledge on the industry; it gave me a chance to take constructive feedback and develop myself from it.
Hannah Dingman: We spent three months interning in the activities department. It was structured so that we could learn all the aspect of that department and train other interns who came after us. There were two things I enjoyed the most about this internship, the first was how much I got to see, not just myself, but the other interns grow professionally and personally. We had an amazing management team, specifically the director of activities. She took time to coach us, help us work with our strengths and work on our weaknesses. The second one was being able to work with interns from different colleges and countries. There were five other interns on our team, as well as two international interns that we worked with, and got to know.
HRM: What led you to select your project focus?
HK: Our project focus was chosen with the help and advising of our Activities managers. Enhancing the pool experience was something we had been working on since the beginning of the internship; therefore, it made perfect sense to become our project focus.
HD: Our managers selected the topic of the poolside experience for us, but as a team we selected issues and improvements that we thought were the most urgent or had the biggest impact. The summary for our project is “Enhancing the Pool Concierge program and scheduling at Marriott’s Desert Springs Villas, to ensure adherence to Pool Playbook, drive Pool Experience Scores (Safe & Secure, EIWO, cleanliness, FUN, etc.) and drive revenue to our Food & Beverage Outlet.”
HRM: What was your reaction when you learned that your project was selected as a regional finalist?
HK: I was incredibly surprised and very happy! I had never been recognized for something of that magnitude and it was a great feeling to know that all our hard work from that summer paid off in yet another amazing way.
HD: I was so excited, I love seeing the fruit of our work. I am also so proud of Hannah, our team, and myself, we worked so hard not just on the project, but during our internship to make sure the poolside experiences we were providing to guests was outstanding.
HRM: What do you hope to accomplish in your future career and how has HRM helped support you?
HK: Upon graduation I am looking for opportunities that will continue to help me grow and learn more about myself while supporting an amazing company. I want to be successful both in business and my personal life, but I know I will never forget about my time at NAU. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the amazing support of not only family and friends, but the spectacular program that is HRM. This program has provided me with opportunities, scholarships, and experiences I wouldn’t have had otherwise, as well as lifelong relationships established with fellow classmates and professors.
HRM is so much more than a school; it is a family that will always be here for you in our “little” mountain town.
HD: I am currently pursuing two options, the first is to be a convention planner for a convention center or business. The second is to become a hospitality consultant for healthcare and hospitals. HRM has helped by not just giving me the tools I need to succeed in the future, but by giving me a support network of professors, peers, and mentors. Anytime I have run into roadblocks or other struggles I know I have people I can go to for advice, support, and encouragement.