Training Students for Careers in Hospitality and Beyond
Did you know that The Club & Guest House is not just a welcoming abode for campus travelers, but a fertile training ground for up and coming hospitality professionals?
The Club & Guest House employs a team of student Guest Services Associates (GSA’s) to run the front desk of the Guest House, a boutique style hotel that is open 24/7 most days of the year. These student employees gain valuable hospitality experience by checking guests in and out, resolving customer questions and concerns in person, by phone, and by email, and by assisting with events. They provide excellent customer service to guests while displaying the utmost professionalism. The expertise and experience gained at The Club & Guest House is so relevant, that many former GSA’s easily find careers in the local hospitality industry after graduating from UCSB.
Hunter Jones (pictured above left), Class of ‘17, started as a Front Desk supervisor at the Goleta Hilton Garden Inn after working as a GSA. He is now the Sales and Cultural Programming coordinator at the Kimpton Goodland Hotel in Goleta. Leslie Quintana (pictured above right), Class of ’19, obtained a career position with The Club & Guest House after graduation, and is currently the Dining Room and Catering Supervisor.
Haley Quan (pictured above left), Class of ’19, obtained a position as a Communications Agent with the Four Seasons Resort, The Biltmore, in Santa Barbara after graduation. She says about her time at The Club & Guest House: “As a GSA at The Club & Guest House, I learned a lot about how to communicate with people of different cultures and backgrounds and have genuine conversations in short points of contact. The GSA position opened a huge opportunity for me by creating a potential career path outside of my studies. Even though I was studying Hydrology, I ended up finding joy in welcoming others to the beautiful city of Santa Barbara and saw it as something I could potentially do for a long time.”
Another former GSA, Julianne Juarez (on right)
, Class of ’18, began working as a Front Desk Agent at the Montecito Inn after graduation. She found that her experience as a GSA prepared her for a position in hospitality. “My GSA position at The Club & Guest House helped immensely in gaining experience in hospitality. As a GSA I learned a lot about the basic operations of a hotel front desk and learned to coordinate with other departments (i.e. housekeeping) to ensure a smooth operation. Additionally, I further improved on skills such as interpersonal communication, multitasking, customer service, problem-solving, etc.”
The valuable skills learned by hard-working Guest House student employees don’t only apply to the world of hospitality. Juarez is now a research intern at the Embassy of Jordan, hoping to pursue a career in diplomacy. She says: “For any student employees who may not continue in hospitality, my advice would be to really highlight the transferability of the skills you learn as a GSA when applying for positions in other career paths.” The problem-solving capability, communication savvy, and professionalism acquired by The Guest House’s GSAs are prized not only in hospitality, but in every industry.
By Camille Locklear