|Students Climbing the Career Ladder: From Intern to Manager!
By Derren A. Thompson, Sr., Manager, Diversity Recruitment
One of the things that I enjoy most about my position with Sodexo is watching interns become managers. Since Sodexo offers year-round internship opportunities in the fall, winter, spring and summer, I get to work with students throughout the year.
A recent success story is about an intern – Jason Davis – from Florida International University who was hired several months ago as a Facilities Manager. I was able to catch up with him to have this conversation:
Q. How did you learn about the Sodexo internship program?
A. I learned about the Sodexo Future Leader's Internship program while attending my first National Society for Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) Conference in North Carolina. I met the Sodexo team during the conference. After a conference session, I spoke with former interns to further my knowledge. Everyone's feedback was great, and I knew that I had to apply for the opportunity.
Q. Describe what a typical day is like on the job at your internship.
A. My experience was great because every day was different. I was able to be creative and to affect change by working in every position on the Franciscan University campus in Steubenville, Ohio. Each day I worked with staff to get ready for the student camp food service. I talked with students about the food and what they would like to see on the menu and then had discussions with staff at the end of the day during our “team huddle.” The next day, I would implement changes based on the feedback, like offering chocolate ice cream, for example. The leadership from the Management team was great; I learned valuable lessons that I use even today in my new role.
Q. What one thing do you wish someone had told you about the internship before you started?
A. That the university that I worked at was in a very remote area with not much to do when not working. Additionally, I had no idea that you would stand and walk all day. That was good as it seemed to provide a great workout each day.
Q. What advice would you give someone looking for a Sodexo internship?
A. Network and join professional organizations like NSMH. There, you will have time with Sodexo recruiters and former interns.
Q. As a new Sodexo Manager, what is your role and how do you feel your internship prepared you for your current role?
A. I am a Resource Manager. I travel to different hospitals and provide coverage when needed. I love it! My internship showed me the needed skills to be successful. I learned how to multitask, meet customer needs, and be professional at client meetings. I worked in campus dining and now I work in hospitals and the skills are transferrable. The concepts that I learned on the campus are the same concepts that I use in hospitals. My customer is just different. One-on-one time with you, as a recruiter, and mock interviews also helped prepare me.
Thank you Jason, we will continue to keep our eyes on you as you continue to grow and make every day a better day for our customers. Are you a student ready to gain experience? Apply today for the Sodexo Future Leaders Internship Program.