Career Connections

Nick Voortmann

Major: Hospitality Management

Minor/option/emphasis: Event Management

Year: Sophomore
Hometown/State: Mason City Iowa

Type of experience: Internship
Company/Organization: Aspen Meadows Resort
Company/Organization website:
Title: Food and Beverage Intern
Destination: Aspen Colorado
Timeframe: May 13th 2016- August 15th 2016

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
My responsibilities during this intern ship were to set up conferences and make sure they ran smoothly. We were also in charge of breakfast, lunch, and dinners. From set up to the food we did it all. We worked long days to ensure that every event ran as smoothly as possible. We are the ones on the front line dealing with the guests. When something went wrong we were the first to know and deal with it. We were the first thing that people saw when they came into eat. It was not just myself but the whole group of interns working as a team to get things done.

I accomplished...
I had many accomplishments over this internship. The biggest accomplishment that happened over the summer was the Aspen Ideas Festival. This is one of the biggest festivals of the summer. We made it through this festival with very few mistakes and setbacks. Another accomplishment that I personally had was doing a reception for the President and CEO of the resort. This was in his very own town home. He is a person who is not easily pleased. At the end of this reception The CEO shook our hands and said he was very happy with the way things went along with our hard work. I had many other small accomplishments that I celebrated as an intern.

My most valuable effort...
My most valuable project was creating new labels for the food and buffets. These new labels had dietary labels on them, including gluten free, nut free, and contains dairy. There is a label for each dietary guideline including being vegan. I was involved from start to finish with creating these new labels. These new labels are valuable because the old labels did not have any guidelines or description of the food (what was in the food.) With these new labels guests are able to see if a certain food had gluten in it or is a vegetarian option. This allows us as servers to be on the floor instead of running back to the kitchen asking the chef about the food.

I learned...
This is a tough one because I learned so much during this work experience. If I had to choose one experience it would be when I first arrived. We had to learn the many aspects of the fine dining industry. This was valuable because nine times out of ten you are dealing with the fine dinning industry during the internship. You have to know what to do in each situation when dealing with fancy people and fine dining.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was having the reception at presidents town home. I was able to meet the president and CEO of the Aspen Meadows Resort along with his wife, the vice president of the Aspen Institute, and even Laura Bush. This was an amazing experience for myself. I was hand picked, along with a couple others to work at this VIP reception. It was great to see the CEO was having a lot of fun mingling among the guests. This was a different side of him usually he is on a mission to get something done.

A surprising discovery...
One thing that I didn’t expect was how relaxed and free spirited the whole town of Aspen was when I arrived. I thought that having so many celebrities come to this town it would be more high class. Even our managers are super relaxed. The only time that they wear a suit is when we have someone of SUPER high class here. This would change the way I look at my job because I really enjoy spending time here where there is so little judgment. I would want to find a job where I can enjoy it as much as I do here in Aspen.

Advice for others...
Get ready to work long and hard. If you are not 100% committed to this internship please don’t take it. There are many other kids who are willing to put in the hours and hard work for this internship. Don’t worry about money this is a learning opportunity and a once in a lifetime experience. Make the best of it.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
I learned about this internship from my advisor my freshman year.

I landed this assignment by...
I went to the career fair. Just as simple as that. I went my freshman year and talked to the HR lady and landed an interview. I didn’t get it my freshman year but I went back the next year. I improved my skills and updated my résumé and landed an interview again. I took the advice from the career fair prep night and got myself an internship. The HR lady said she remembered me and was glad to see me come back.

I wanted this experience because...
I wanted this internship because I have heard that it was a challenging internship. I am always up for a challenge. I also wanted this because it deals with my major and related to what I want to do when I am older. When I was offered this internship I knew that this was going to be a once in a lifetime experience because of where it was located. And it was.

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