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.
Dayana Garzon-Lagos, class of 2025 hospitality business management major with an international business minor, spent her summer as an F&B corporate intern with Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.
Lerner: How did you find out about this internship? Why did you pursue it?
Garzon-Lagos: I found out about this internship after connecting with a recruiter at the hospitality speed networking event. After our initial conversation, we followed up our conversation through a virtual meeting. I pursued this opportunity because she was a Latina who had worked herself up in the hospitality industry through Hyatt and it was truly inspiring. She had a lot of faith in my abilities and what I could accomplish and she put in a great word for me to corporate.
Lerner: What was the most exciting task or project that you completed?
Garzon-Lagos: The most exciting task that I completed through this internship was rotating through the banquets department for a week and seeing an event happen from the preconvention meeting to the cleanup of the event. It was a new experience having to meet with the client of the event taking in their ideas and creating everything that they imagined. It was great to see their faces light up once they saw all the event spaces set up and see that they were satisfied with the work we had completed.
Lerner: What did you learn from the internship that you think you would not have learned elsewhere?
Garzon-Lagos: Something I learned from the internship that I wouldn’t have learned elsewhere was helping a sister location in West Hollywood when its employees all went on strike. I had never performed under that much pressure, especially when we had to complete the jobs of all departments while the workers were marching and making noise outside to improve their working conditions and wages. There were many challenges that we faced as a team helping out at this hotel, but it helped me deal with a huge amount of pressure while still leading by example.
Lerner: What is an example of a time where you were able to apply what you’ve learned at Lerner to your role?
Garzon-Lagos: I had to help complete a variety of Excel spreadsheets throughout my internship and if I hadn’t had any prior knowledge from the classes I’ve taken, I would have struggled to set one up during crucial times.
Lerner: Did you face any challenges during your internship? If so, what was the issue and how did you overcome it?
Garzon-Lagos: I faced many challenges during the internship, such as dealing with angry guests, balancing my tasks, and managing my time; however, my management was very understanding and gave me a lot of guidance and encouragement whenever they saw that I was overwhelmed. I was always willing to ask questions and ask for help which I know is crucial to do so when I’m unsure of what the next steps would be.
Lerner: What are your career plans, and how do you think the internship will push you closer to your professional goals?
Garzon-Lagos: My career plan is to become a manager or director of operations or banquets of a resort and continue to move up the career ladder. This internship helped me come closer to my professional goals because it helped me narrow down what it is that I want to focus on in the hospitality industry. Before this internship, I wasn’t exactly sure what aspect of the hospitality industry I wanted to dive into but after this internship, I realized that I enjoy the fast pace of the operations sector. I enjoy being busy in a large property and solving many issues that may arise at any given point.