A Millennial Graphic Designer's Path from New England to Chicago

As a JWU alum, I know firsthand how overwhelming the transition to college life can be, and the stress that comes with preparing for life after graduation - it comes up faster than you expect! At JWU, I strived to be as active and engaged on-campus as my schedule would allow. I focused on how to make new friends, network with professors and staff, as well as look for opportunities that would prepare me for life after graduation.

Looking back at my time in college, it amazes me how fast my time at JWU went by. I remember my first week on-campus, getting acclimated to living on my own for the first time in a new city and state. Even now, I appreciate that JWU offers a wide array of opportunties to engage on- and off-campus. Here’s my story:

Starting my JWU Journey

 Corey Clark ‘12  Graphic Design & Digital Media

Corey Clark ‘12
Graphic Design & Digital Media

As an incoming Freshman, I received a scholarship that invited me to be a part of a leadership group -- originally known as the President’s Leadership Council (PLC). I found this group to be a great introduction to my peers, and also to upperclassmen with insight about the keys to college life. PLC provided me with a professional outlet to grow my skills around leading a group, public speaking, community action and so much more.

With the support of my college community, I applied and accepted a position on the Orientation Team. This leadership role allowed me to mentor incoming freshman about what to expect with their transition to college life and to understand how JWU supports them throughout their journey. I, myself, was still on this journey but was empowered to help others because of the support I received my first year at JWU. Being a part of the O-Team felt like having a family. To this day, I’ve remained close friends with many of my fellow O-Team leaders because of our bond and an experience I’ll never forget!

As I looked to the next phase of my college journey, I knew I needed a job to prepare for graduation. I learned that having a job on-campus would provide an ideal school/work/life balance. I landed an opportunity as a Graphic Design Student Assistant with Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS). The staff were understanding about working around my class schedule, which alleviated the stress of needing to coordinate traveling off-campus to a part-time job. My student position with EE&CS opened the door to opportunities that I had not seen before! I was fortunate to work with staff who seek to help students gain career skills from how to write a great resume & cover letter, to applying for internships & jobs, to interviewing best practices not to mention the graphic design portfolio I was able to build while working on EE&CS branding and marketing!

My student position with EE&CS opened the door to opportunities that I had not seen before! I even worked on EE&CS branded marketing; building my professional portfolio!”

From Internship to Hire

The stress of applying for an internship was overwhelming and a daunting task I didn’t want to deal with -- but knew I had to. The support of the EE&CS staff made the process seamless from helping me with how to frame my experience to date to preparing for internship positions I had applied for. After applying for several internships with no luck, I saw a posting through JWU for an internship at Hasbro. They needed a graphic design production assistant, and based upon the description, I thought it would be a perfect fit. I brought the listing to my boss at EE&CS and asked for help. I knew it was going to take a lot of work to get a foot in the door at Hasbro, but I was ready for the challenge. After some countless hours of applying and preparing for the internship at Hasbro, I got a call back! I went through a few rounds of interviews and at the end, was offered the internship.

I couldn’t wait to start at Hasbro, but still had to manage my workload of classes and an on-campus job. My senior year of college went by so fast, that before I knew it graduation was around the corner. Panic set in as I realized my internship was ending and I needed to find a job to pay my rent, loans and to live.

Working with the EE&CS staff, I pulled together a proposal for Hasbro -- a way to showcase my internship work and dedication to the company. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit apprehensive that they would smile at my proposal and turn down my request to be brought on full-time post-graduation. Fortunately, they appreciated my work as an intern and took a chance to hire me full-time!

I worked my way up at Hasbro, advancing from intern to producer to associate manager. It took years of dedication, hard work and long hours - but it paid off. JWU taught and prepared me for how to be a leader, dedicate myself to my work, and most importantly how to advocate for myself.

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Moving On From My First Career Position

The next step in my career came with a difficult decision: leaving Hasbro. I spent several years working to prove myself and grow my professional skill sets, but I wanted something more. I had a hunger for advancing with responsibilities. I learned a lot from Hasbro and was conflicted by the idea of leaving -- not knowing anything else, it scared me. I knew this was a new challenge to be faced, but I needed to make sure it was the right move before making the leap.

I had stayed in touch with a former boss of mine from Hasbro, who advocated many times for my advancements. We stayed in touch and one day she reached out with an opportunity to join her new team at Collette, a guided travel organization, where she was working to grow her team and needed someone to help her execute her vision. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to apply my skills in a role of influence. After a few rounds of negotiations (thanks EE&CS for teaching me these skills!) I gladly accepted the position and said goodbye to Mr. Potato Head.

During my journey at Collette, I continued to grow and refine my professional skills. Learning more about creative business problem solving and how to execute successful campaigns. New learning opportunities opened up as I opened up to receive them. I learned along the way that being open to new perspectives is a great way to continue to grow, professionally and personally. Asking co-workers by asking how and why they do their jobs opens up doors to a wealth of knowledge that you can’t necessarily learn in school. JWU prepared me with a solid foundation, and I thought once I was out of college I was done ‘learning’, but realized that the learning never ends.

I spent a couple of years at Collette, continuing to grow and learn from fellow colleagues, and learning more about myself. As a kid, I heard many times “what do you want to be when you grow up?” I struggled to answer this question but as time went on, I learned that I wanted to be the best me I could possibly be. Giving back to others is a core part of my nature and I realized that the only way I’d be happy in a job was if I could give back. I began to participate in volunteer trips from team building to helping a third world country in need. Each and every time it gave me an energy rush unlike I had known before. Traveling had been an aspiration but was a financial challenge. Collette opened the door for me to travel and see the world -- and gave me an opportunity to do more for those in need.


Chi-Town & The American Lung Association

Jumping out of my comfort zone again, this time I picked up the last seven years of my life in Rhode Island and moved to Chicago; a city I had only visited once. Overwhelmed with emotions ranging from fear of a new city to the excitement of the opportunities that lay ahead.

After a transition period, I learned of a job posting at the American Lung Association -- an organization I had fundraised for in the past and enjoyed immensely. The role sought a ‘jack of all trades’ with a go-getter attitude and passion for giving back. Another perfect fit! I took a chance and applied for the role, of course after spending countless hours preparing my resume (which honestly was out of date) and brushing up on my interview skills. I reached out to a few folks at EE&CS for help -- after all, the staff had been a major support system for me over the years. They helped me navigate the challenging questions such as “are they going to consider me?”, “how do I highlight my experience and apply it to the non-profit world?”

Spoiler alert: I got the job! I’ve been with the American Lung Association now for over 2.5 years and have to admit that starting a new job has a steep learning curve. However, the learning curve provides an opportunity for growth. Challenging you in ways that you might not have seen or known, but helping to grow you in beneficial ways.

Lessons Learned

Since I graduate a little over six years ago, I’ve learned a few key lessons:

Be open and honest with yourself. Every conversation and experience is an opportunity for growth -- professionally and personally.

Get involved. From college to life afterwards -- getting and staying involved is a great way to network and grow.

Highlight your skills and identify your opportunities. Know what your strengths and weaknesses are and continue to work on them -- it doesn’t stop when you graduate.

Stay connected. You meet people throughout your life and I’ve learned that staying connected with those who help you and who you help along the way are the most meaningful relationships.

Explore. From traveling the world (or your neighborhood) to experiencing various positions within your industry. Exploring helps you growth professionally and personally.

Want more? Visit Experiential Education & Career Services to prepare for the most competitive opportunities available through on-campus recruitment.

Are you an alum? Share your story with us by contacting pvd.careerservices@jwu.edu

follow us @jwuprovcareers

JWU Relationships Matter in Planning & Growing Your Career

JWU Relationships Matter


As a senior culinary recruiter for Delaware North, Amy Tormey ’05 knows what she is looking for in great JWU talent. Why? Because she is JWU. As an alumna, and experienced in finding the best talent, Amy is well positioned to share her expertise with students preparing for their careers.

“It’s really all about relationships” says Amy. Who shares that she never would have received the opportunity she did as a graduating student had it not been for the relationships she built at JWU. 

Amy began her career at Compass Group as the catering director at the Charlotte Merchandise Mart before moving over to be the café manager and r&d chef for Café Ritazza at corporate headquarters. Amy then moved to the college recruiter position segueing into talent acquisition. Flash forward to today where Amy is a senior culinary recruiter at Delaware North. She has been recruiting JWU talent every step of the way.

Along the way, Amy has appreciated and nourished the relationships she has made; never forgetting where she comes from. And, because she knows what JWU students are capable of, she holds them to a higher standard and has expectations that JWU students will take advantage of opportunities and nurture their own relationships as she did. Why? Because when it comes to JWU it’s a small world really.

I love to recruit JWU students. I think the wide variety of course topics really encourages the growth and learning mindset in students.”

College to Career Success

Your reputation and ability to nurture relationships will stand you well. As it did with Christine Meehan ’12, ’17. Christine applied to FLIK, a division of Compass Group, for their MDP program in her senior year. She was one of 30 applicants chosen to interview, twelve were invited to the FLIK dinner with senior management, and all were offered positions. Enter Amy Tormey who was at the dinner. She was impressed with Christine and negotiated with her colleagues to steal Christine away from the FLIK division to the Compass corporate division where Christine was hired as Amy’s first college relations coordinator. This set Christine on her path to talent acquisition and human resources coming from a Hospitality Management and MBA in Finance degree at JWU.


During her experience at Compass, Christine built a relationship with Amy and grew into her responsibilities as a young professional illustrating all the traits of a great JWU alumna – excellent work ethic, commitment to the work, solid multi-tasker, great personality and successfully managed work/life balance!

In 2014, Christine moved on to an HR role with another company and maintained her relationship with Amy. Flash forward to 2016 and a cross country move for both Amy and Christine to the West Coast where their paths cross again. During that time, an employer who was looking for good talent asked Amy if she had any recommendations and Amy recommended Christine for the position. Christine was then hired into her current role as the regional talent acquisition manager at Auberge Resorts Collection in San Francisco. Once again, nurturing those JWU relationships paid off and Experiential Education & Career Services gains another alumnus employer nurturing their JWU relationship and recruiting the best talent during on-campus recruitment at career fairs.

Christine shares that the reason she chose JWU for her hospitality education is because she was attracted to the wide variety of courses offered. The other schools she considered only offered a core group of hospitality courses with very few elective options. As a result of her success at JWU, Christine’s younger sister Michelle followed in her sister’s footsteps to JWU. Following graduation, Michelle also started her career at Compass Group in the FLIK division keeping it all in the family.

Christine states: “I love to recruit JWU students. I think the wide variety of course topics really encourages the growth and learning mindset in students. This is important to us as a company because that growth mindset has really been a success factor for those participating in our internship and management development programs. As we continue to grow as a company, it has been great to welcome students who are ready and able to grow with us.”

 Christine with Amy (center) at her first JWU career fair at the Charlotte Campus

Christine with Amy (center) at her first JWU career fair at the Charlotte Campus

 Celebrating Christine’s Wedding

Celebrating Christine’s Wedding

Seeking the Best JWU Talent

Every day Amy is building relationships that are a fit for the employer and the JWU student or alumnus. She knows what Delaware North is looking for and what JWU students can bring to the table.

In her current role with Delaware North (DNC), Amy values the organization’s commitment to building relationships and career paths for all of their employees making it a great fit for her with her values. Amy’s value to the DNC team built upon some of the great relationships with local accounts building a relationship at the corporate level with JWU.

This has opened up nationwide opportunities for JWU students that go beyond Sous Chef roles to setting up DNC and JWU graduates for success with the Culinary MIT program which is just two years old. As a result, DNC now has a consistent presence at the career fairs and we partner with Patina Restaurant Group to show the synergy with the various companies providing more opportunities to JWU students.

Delaware North Builds Career Paths

Here is a peek at Delaware North’s commitment to building career paths for their employees:

Students with an associates degree and who are completing their bachelor’s degree can enter into the manager-in-training program and are trained during a two-year period as salaried associates. They are looking for a minimum of 3 years with sous chef experience prior to the training program and count your JWU education toward that experience. At the end of a successful training period you can expect to become a sous chef. Training includes four rotations of six months each with two rotations at Patina Restaurant Group and two with Delaware North. There are five alumni in the program now with three in the latest program that has begun.

Because Delaware North has a seasonal business model, they offer a 12-18-month training program for existing employees that requires traveling to the business in its highest season to train at a variety of venues. To be successful in this seasonal business model, chefs need to be flexible and travel a lot. For instance, with the MLB playoffs some chefs traveled to the Milwaukee Brewers. Now they are traveling to Patina properties and next will spend the holiday season at Rockefeller Center.

What this boils down to is that Delaware North is committed to getting their employees to the level they want to get to for themselves while ensuring that even executive chefs still cook. All executive chefs cook whether it is a $52 million venue or a suite supported stadium. They all butcher, do sauce development, use their knife skills, and all of them get Pro Chef or ACF Chef certifications. It is this commitment to investing in its employees and promoting from within, building relationships if you will, that makes Delaware North such a great employer partner for JWU.

Recent Openings With Our Partners

Here’s a peek at some of the recent openings at TD Garden a Delaware North property, Patina Restaurant Group of which Delaware North is a majority share owner as well as openings with Auberge Hotel Collection:

Delaware North/TD Garden: Analyst – Hockey Operations, Food & Beverage (F&B) Supervisor, Internships in: F&B Management (Concessions), F&B Management (Restaurant & Catering), Catering & Events, as well as Human Resources

Patina Restaurant Group: Director of Food & Beverage, Finance Manager, Recruiting Manager, Catering Sales Manager, Culinary Staff, Catering Coordinators, Front & Back of the House Internships

Auberge Hotel Collection: Manager-in-Training Program, Internships in Rooms, Culinary, as well as Food & Beverage

log in to link.jwu.edu visit jobs & internships page then search jobs on Handshake our online recruitment system.

Want more? Visit Experiential Education & Career Services to prepare for the most competitive opportunities available through on-campus recruitment.

Are you an alum? Share your story with us by contacting pvd.careerservices@jwu.edu

follow us @jwuprovcareers

One Student's Journey to the Marriott Voyage - Global Leadership Development Program

 JWU students does Sun Devils internship

Christen Keldo '18

New Britain, Connecticut



Culinary Arts & Food Service Management

Minor: Sommelier



Christen's Path


Christen began his path toward Marriott with a sophomore year internship at DeWolfe Tavern. While there he worked various stations including Garde' Manger, Pastry, Saute' Grill, and his favorite the charcoal heated tandoori oven. The contemporary Indian focused cuisine helped drive his curiosity and stretch and strengthen his skills bringing him out of his comfort zone.

He also gained valuable skills in communication and time management, was allowed to try new ideas and learn from them even when they weren't successful.  Christen's advice to students is to strive for consistency. 


Additional Work Experience

Following internship, Christen returned to his studies at JWU and began working at the Duck & Bunny where he was promoted to assistant kitchen manager under the leadership of Erik Anderson. 

" My internship dramatically influenced me in having the ability to train and work as an assistant kitchen manager and to pursue the Marriott Voyage program. "

When reaching out for permission, Duck & Bunny owner Daniel Becker stated that they are sorry to be losing CK, but are very proud and excited as he takes his next steps on his journey.


Applying to the Marriott Voyage Program

Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS) let Christen know about the opportunity to apply for the Marriott Voyage Program. He prepared with a career advisor practicing through mock interviews and understanding the interview process which included an assessment. Once chosen as a final candidate, he even consulted with family and friends in choosing just the right suit and business cards. His final interview consisted of a mystery basket. He worked calmly and with a clear mind as he competed for a job offer with Marriott. He got the offer! After accepting Marriott's offer, Christen returned to EE&CS to share the good news:

"My entire college experience at JWU including my internship and additional work experience helped to shape my journey and success to this point and I can't wait to utilize these skills in my future with Marriott!"

Utilize Career Services. The mock interview was very important to instilling confidence. They put me in touch with other JWU Voyage graduates and were available to answer my questions throughout the process. I hope more students realize how helpful EE&CS is after reading this. “

Want more? Visit link.jwu.edu > jobs & internships to learn more about employers coming on-campus to recruit, the internship process, and the career advising available to assist you on your path to success.

Criminal Justice Internship Success Story

 JWU students does Sun Devils internship

Jerhamy Pow ’17

New Rochelle, NY



Criminal Justice



Nantucket Police Department

Company Profile


The members of the Nantucket Police Department, exist to serve all people within their jurisdiction with respect, fairness, and compassion. Committed to the prevention of crime and the protection of life and property; the preservation of peace, order and safety; the enforcement of laws and ordinances; and the safeguarding of constitutional guarantees.

Treat your internship as if it was your career job.

What did you do?

My duties as a Community Service Officer (CSO) for the Nantucket Police Department (NPD) consisted of working foot patrol in downtown Nantucket, assisting with parking and traffic enforcement, crowd control, security, and more. I also worked at the substation two days a week assisting the town by answering questions, retrieving lost items and bringing them to the main station, etc.

While working with the NPD, I learned many different hands-on techniques on how to deal with face-to face confrontations, security techniques, radio traffic skills, traffic and parking laws, Nantucket bylaws, and the overall experience of working within a police department. The industry skills that I have learned include dealing with radio communication with a lot going on at once and remembering that not everyone can speak at the same time, and understanding that management follows the NPD chain of command. I have gained so much experience it is hard to put it all in words.

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What did you learn?

This internship will help me after I graduate because now I have experience in my field and this is definitely what I want to do. This internship has inspired me to strive harder to get on a police department. I don’t believe my home state has this type of a program for internship so I will now be able to bring this experience home and speak about it in a wonderful way.

Advice for Others

Treat your internship as if it was your career job so that you can either show your passion for it or figure out if you need to readjust and find a new career path to take. You don’t want to wait until you graduate to find out that you are not going to love what you will be doing.

If you have an opportunity to take an internship do it! Anyone can study or remember a term for an exam, but actually doing the job could change everything. I was so caught up in my internship I forgot I was an intern. I felt like a real part of the department, which is how everyone’s overall experience should be.

Want more? Visit link.jwu.edu > jobs & internships to learn more about the importance and how to apply for internship. This is a starting point. To learn more see an experiential education coordinator.