As a member of the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics’ Class of 2021, Shannon Yates, a hospitality business management major with a minor in international business from Oakhurst, New Jersey has not had the typical final year or commencement at UD due to the coronavirus pandemic. Yates, and her entire class, have shown incredible resilience, maturity and spirit while adjusting to the many unexpected changes that they have encountered.
Yates was nominated for this series by UD Adjunct Faculty Ryan Sanders, who said, “I had Shannon for two semesters in class and one internship semester. I found her to be one of my surprise standout students in my time at UD. She is quiet and reserved in class so you might underestimate her until you work with her. Her classwork was always well prepared, on time and enjoyable to read. In any group assignments or discussions, she was active in being a good team member.
“What made her shine was when she asked me after the end of our second semester together if she could do anything else for me,” Sanders continued. “As a hospitality major, I found a perfect role for her with an informal internship with me in rebuilding my study abroad program in Paris for the January 2022 mini-mester. She developed a shared folder where we could modify and plan for the trip. She developed detailed itineraries and activities that included logistics, timelines, contact information, learning outcomes I had set out and much more. She made contact with local concierge services to verify her information, investigated networking venues and initiated contacts with the U.S. Embassy and other France-based professional and governmental organizations to try to get them engaged. She updated and organized contacts and managed details that I never could have gotten complete on my own. She took my program to a level of organization that would have taken me many more months had I not had her help. She demonstrated what professional behavior is and modeled a fantastic work ethic that is surely the reason the Four Seasons recently hired her!”
In this profile, Yates shared her favorite UD memories, how she has changed during her time at UD and her plans following graduation.
Lerner: How do you think you have changed from your first semester at UD to now?
Yates: I have grown more independent throughout these past four years. Studying abroad really gave me the chance to be outside of my comfort zone and adapt to unfamiliar environments.
Lerner: What is your favorite place at UD?
Yates: My favorite place at UD is the Caesar Rodney Lounge. I spent all of my sophomore year here studying with friends, doing work and making fun memories.
Lerner: What is the most memorable course that you took at Lerner?
Yates: The most memorable course I took at Lerner was HOSP314 with Professor Pyle. This was a very collaborative and hands-on class, which made it more enjoyable than the typical lecture-style courses.
Lerner: What was your favorite signature UD experience?
Yates: My favorite UD experience was studying abroad in both Rome and Prague. Being a World Scholar allowed me to study abroad two semesters and really grow my passion for travel.
Lerner: What does being a “Lifelong Lerner” mean to you?
Yates: Being a “Lifelong Lerner” to me means taking all the opportunities you can to learn something new, meet new people and explore what the world has to offer. UD has given me so much life experience and knowledge that I will take with me forever.
Lerner: What are your plans following graduation?
Yates: My plans following graduation are to move to New Orleans. I will be the Executive Guest Experience Ambassador for Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.