experiential learning

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 > 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.

Summer Internship Turns into Management Trainee Opportunity

joe esposito 17.jpg

Joe Esposito '17
Chester, NJ

Major: Human Resources Management '17 Masters in Business Administration '18

Internship: Kohl's Management Intern

Hired Upon Graduation:  
Store Management Trainee

"Kohl’s took me in with open arms and taught me
so much about their business."

Company Profile
Headquartered in the Milwaukee suburb of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, operating 1,162 stores in 49 states, Kohl’s is America’s largest department store chain by the number of stores. In 1998, it entered the S&P 500 list, and is also listed in the Fortune 500. The chain was the 20th-largest retailer in the U.S. in 2013 in terms of revenue.

What did you do?
I had an amazing opportunity as a store management intern. I was placed at the store level learning the big box store operations of the business, and was fortunate to learn all aspects of the day-to-day operations. This included logistics, employee development, visuals, cash wrap, customer engagement, and maximizing customer experiences.

What did you learn?
My most exciting experience was learning and being able to participate at the store level as an E3 which is the ‘Manager on Duty’. E3 stands for “Every Customer, Every Store, Every Time.” Some of my responsibilities during this assignment were making sure that every customer had the best experience possible from the moment they walked through our doors through to their purchase. I truly enjoyed working with the customers, solving their purchasing needs, and making sure the store ‘nuts and bolts’ were working in sync to ensure a seamless day.

Some of the key skills I developed included the ability to communicate with patience with customers, associates, and even the executive management team with ease and professionalism. I gained insight on creative problem solving and the energy needed to develop associates on my team.

Getting the opportunity to run a department was huge for me. My fellow intern and I were able to drive results by making the department flow better through strategic product placement.

I chose Kohl’s because I saw an opportunity to expand my knowledge, and be immersed in their culture that focuses on the customer and their store associates. I’m glad I had this experience and can’t wait to begin my career with them!

Advice for Others
I learned about Kohl’s through a round table hosted by Experiential Education & Career Services. After learning more about the company and their culture, I knew I wanted to intern there. While on internship, I recommend taking the time to embrace and explore new opportunities. It may just be the start of your career; like it is for me!

Other Successes with DECA
Joe has been elected as the executive vice president of Collegiate DECA at the recent International Career Development Conference in Anaheim, California. Congratulations, Joe! Read more about the newly elected team.

Inspired to create your own Internship Success Story? Contact Experiential Education & Career Services to discuss internship.