This summer, students from the University of Delaware’s Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics discovered new avenues for professional preparation and practical hands-on experience. Lerner College students pursued an array of remote, in person or hybrid internships, externships and other professional development opportunities. From MBA scholars to undergraduates entering their second year at UD, students across a spectrum of Lerner programs shared their experiences accomplishing an assortment of projects.
Each profile of our “My Summer Internship” series will provide a glimpse into one of these unique experiences and how students applied knowledge from their studies to be successful in the real-world.
Alessia Puleo, class of 2023 hospitality business management major with a minor in entrepreneurship, spent her summer as a management intern with Hillstone Restaurant Group.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Puleo: I stumbled upon the internship opportunity from the Hillstone website. I selected this role to explore and challenge my skills coupled with the prospect of growing within a great organization.
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Puleo: Within my second week, I began interviewing and identifying potential candidates for hire. In my role, I mentored new staff throughout their training and provided support for their growth.
Lerner: What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Puleo: Hillstone prides itself on teamwork. Through communication, consolidation of tasks, and circulation throughout the dining space, as a team, we always strive to better our best. This environment motivated me to learn and grow each day. Hillstone has a glowing reputation, with many celebrity chefs and restaurateurs identifying this as their favorite dining experience. Being a part of this dynamic, fast-paced team environment was highly rewarding.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Puleo: Our student-run restaurant, Vita Nova, allowed me to leverage my technical proficiency and attention to service details during my internship experience. My entrepreneurial leadership classes helped me curate my best-fit leadership style to lead and motivate the team effectively this summer.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Puleo: All Hillstone managers are responsible for overseeing the expo window. In this role, you are the liaison for communication between the kitchen and service team. My responsibilities included coordinating the timing of orders, garnishing of dishes, and communicating any allergies or modifications. Learning this aspect of the restaurant was new for me and felt like a challenge. After some practice and help from my team, I became confident and efficient in this role.
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Puleo: After graduation, I plan to pursue a food and beverage managerial role in an upscale or luxury dining concept. This internship helped me grow professionally and gain more exposure to the upscale food and beverage industry.