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Tyra James is an undergraduate student at the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. During the Summer 2020 semester, she completed an internship at a hotel in Rosenberg, Texas. We interviewed her to find out more about her experience and how an internship benefited her professional development.

Tyra James

Senior
Major: Hospitality Management

Why did you choose to attend UL Lafayette? 
I knew I wanted to major in Hospitality Management and from my research I saw that UL Lafayette had an excellent curriculum. I was also familiar with UL Lafayette because my father is an alumnus.

Why did you choose to major in Hospitality Management?
I enjoy all aspects of traveling which includes planning the mode of transportation, the destination, the accommodations, and the activities. Therefore, I felt this would be the perfect career for me. 

Why did you decide to participate in the Moody Business Internship Program?
The internship program was part of my curriculum. Participating would provide me an opportunity to get hands-on experience in my field of study.

What company did you intern with during the summer semester? 
I was an intern for SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

How did you first hear about your internship?
I learned about the internship through a connection. A long-time family friend provided me a contact within the Marriott chain of hotels. I submitted my letter of introduction and resume for consideration. I was contacted, interviewed, and was hired for my internship at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Rosenberg, Texas.

What was your favorite thing about the internship?
My favorite things about the internship were how much I learned and the people I worked with.  My immediate supervisor and the general manager were both awesome to work with and they willingly shared information.

What were your responsibilities at your internship?
My primary duties were that of a front desk agent. I learned their Property Management System (FOSSE), how to check guests in/out, make key cards, verify the cash counts, information on guest ledgers, contingency reports, process inventory, and update job descriptions and pandemic safety posters.

What is the most valuable thing you learned during your internship? 
One of the most valuable things I learned during my internship was the challenges faced by the general manager of a hotel during the unprecedented times of a pandemic.  What was once a booming business in a small town now faced record days of low-occupancy rates. I learned the value of having strategic plans designed for sustainability during difficult times. I now have a true understanding of the need for establishing long-term plans and not just concentrating on the short-term. I learned how the hotel had to change its marketing strategies to adapt to the new normal. I learned how they worked with their employees by adjusting hours to avoid layoffs. I learned how the hotel had to adjust their safety precautions for both staff and guests while striving to provide excellent customer service.

What advice would you give to someone considering participating in the Moody Business Internship Program in the future?
Do it. The experience gained is well worth it. You will be able to meet and work with professionals in the industry. Do not procrastinate because it is a lot of work. Learn what you can and enjoy yourself.


Students and employers can learn more about participating in the Moody Business Internship Program at business.louisiana.edu/internship or email internship@louisiana.edu.

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