Less than a month after Sara Hill received her diploma from Davis & Elkins College, she has entered a very elite class - one of two recent graduates accepted into the 18-month management training program at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.
The process for her selection was "very extensive," Hill says. With the help of Executive Chef and Assistant Professor of Hospitality Management Melanie Campbell and Director of Davis & Elkins College Career Services and Student Employment Lisa Reed, she submitted her resume.
A 45-minute phone interview resulted and that led to an invitation for an onsite visit. There she met with the president and chief executive officer, and participated in a panel interview with a group of department managers.
"It is truly remarkable," Hill says of her selection. "I had to turn down other offers, which was really hard, but,The Greenbrier is the most prestigious."
Hill began the program on June 3. The first 12 weeks will be devoted to front desk operations and training with managers, and the financial aspects of the resort. The remainder of the program will include training for the casino, human resources, accounting, and food and beverage, which encompasses restaurant, banquet and room service. At the end of 12 months, trainees will focus on their primary area of interest.
Hill first took an interest in The Greenbrier when Campbell, a former apprentice at the resort, accompanied the HMGT 330 Resort Management class there for a four-night stay.
"Being part of the D&E family has been something special," Hill says. "It has inspired me to know who I am. Chef Mel, [former dean] Vic Thacker and Chef Derrick Lantz really helped me learn what I want from life."
Commenting on Hill's selection, Campbell said, "As an alumna of the Greenbrier Apprenticeship, I think it is great that Sara will be going there in the Management Program."
Hill received a Bachelor of Arts degree in hospitality and tourism management with a minor in marketing on May 18. This spring, she earned first place in the Business Executive category at the Phi Beta Lambda State Competition, and has also achieved dean's list status numerous times throughout her college career. She is the daughter of Connie Baker of Charleston.
Widely regarded as one of the finest luxury resorts around the world, The Greenbrier offers exclusive services and amenities such as championship golf, fine dining, more than 50 activities, designer boutiques, the world's only Forbes Five-Star mineral spa and a 103,000-square-foot gaming and entertainment venue.
The Davis & Elkins College Hospitality Management major is designed to provide the student with a sound knowledge of management principles and a thorough understanding of food and other hospitality-related businesses along with practical, working experience in one of the world's most exciting industries.
In addition to off-campus internships, students have the opportunity to work on campus in the Graceland Inn and Conference Center. Graceland Inn is a beautifully restored Victorian mansion and is currently a premier lodging, retreat and meeting facility. The conference center provides guestrooms and three conferencing areas.
For more information, please visit the D&E website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.