Danielle Murphy, Resort Management

A Balancing Act: Resort Management Student Spotlight

I can bridge the gap between what I learn in the classroom to what I will be hands-on doing in my future.

Upon graduating in May 2016, Danielle Murphy will receive her Resort Management degree with a Club Management & Special Events minor as well as a Meeting Planning minor.

Murphy holds a dominant presence on campus, but continues to find time to succeed academically. Taking advantage of every opportunity during her time as a Bulldog, Murphy is a member of Zeta Tau Alpha, the Hospitality Honor Society Eta Sigma Delta, the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality, and the Hospitality Management Student Association. In addition to this, Murphy is the Volunteer Coordinator for the Big Event, a service-oriented day of volunteerism for students and the Big Rapids community.

Read about Murphy’s experience in the Hospitality program and the steps she has taken to develop herself as a professional, including her internship with the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa.

Why did you choose to study your major/minor? Why did you choose to study at Ferris?

I choose Hospitality Management because I love to work with people and organizing events. I transferred to Ferris after my freshman year at another university, and I do not regret that move for a second. I choose to study at Ferris because of the smaller class sizes allowing me to not be a number and the welcoming Hospitality Management professors that I meet during a campus visit. The professors here all have real-life experiences and are able to share their stories with us.

What are your career goals? How is your major/minor preparing you for them?

My career goals are to become an event planner. My major is preparing me to that by giving me real life experiences, networking with managers and supervisors in the industry and requiring us to complete two internships. Ferris has so many ways to become involved on campus and to make connections. I am involved with many student organizations holding leadership positions; they are the main reason I received this opportunity to intern here at the JW Marriott. Employers look for those leadership skills and Ferris State has so many opportunities for you to gain those experiences.

Where are you interning? Why did you choose to intern here?

I am interning at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort and Spa. Marriott has an internship program that I was accepted into; I told my recruiter that I would love to experience a property out of Michigan to learn about their cultures. In April, I received a phone call asking how San Antonio, Texas, sounded, and I accepted it right on the spot. I love every second of being in Texas!

Give a brief explanation of your job description as an intern. What are your day-to-day activities?

I am in the Food & Beverage Department here at the JW, working at the Rivertop Grille as a server. My day-to-day activities would be serving. We are poolside servers, so we are servicing over 1,000 seats a day. At Rivertop it is a casual environment; we have a full bar and kitchen. Being an intern, every other week we have intern meetings. Some days we are having roundtables with executives on property learning about their careers and how they got to where they are today; touring other Marriotts here in San Antonio; or doing community service events to raise money for local charities such as the Children’s Miracle Network and United Way in San Antonio.

How has Ferris State University prepared you for your internship?

Ferris has prepared me for this internship by supplying me with an internship project. By doing this report you do not go unnoticed on property; I am making connections with managers and other staff members learning all I can about this very large property. By doing this I can bridge the gap between what I learn in the classroom to what I will be hands-on doing in my future.

What is the most valuable piece of information you’ve learned as an intern?

The most valuable piece of information I have learned is to be open-minded.

How has your internship prepared you for the remainder of your college career, or for life after college?

My two internships have prepared me for my future because they are teaching me how to manage my time. You are getting hands-on training and seeing what managers deal with daily. You can learn from their mistakes before you are in that managerial role.