q: What do you do?
a: I've handled sales and marketing for B.B. King's at Pointe Orlando since its December 2007 opening. We have live music seven nights a week and are one of the larger destinations for parties and dinners, being able to accommodate up to 1800 people. Everyone who works here gets along great and we're a well-oiled machine when it comes to events, right down to color-coded floor plans I make for the staff. I don't want events to just be special; I make them fantastic where everyone gets loud and dances their blues away.q: What's your favorite part of the job?
a: Each event is so different and I can be creative. For a casino night I didn't just get the gaming tables but went the extra mile with large light-up dice and paid showgirls. We've had Cirque de Soleil cast members hang from the ceilings and 12-foot ice sculptures down to an intimate barbecue with a s'mores pit on our tropical patio.q: What's the greatest challenge?
a: Bringing locals to I-Drive. Also, juggling several events simultaneously. For instance, I may have 3-4 buy-out nights in a row (where clients have booked our whole facility) which is lots of current details to manage. My mind still needs to be on events that are two weeks out, requiring special themes or entertainment.q: Do you stay in touch with any other UCF hospitality alums?
a: Brittany Andrews '08, Raj Mehta '06, Scott Mifsud '03, Holly Steinebronn '07 and Elaine Wechsler '07.q: Outside work...you're most likely to be seen?
a: On Park Avenue in Winter Park, at Park Plaza Gardens or 310 Park South.q: Your biggest accomplishment since graduating, outside your career?
a: Making goals and completing them sooner than I anticipated: going to Rosen College, working at the Ritz-Carlton and then getting a management position that I really love. B.B. King's is a wonderful place to work and I'm excited about my transfer to the new location in West Palm Beach. It opens in October and I'll have the opportunity to help open a new restaurant, and the new experience of marketing in an area that's not as driven by convention business.q: How did UCF prepare you for what you do?
a: Rosen College was the perfect college experience for me because I'm a kinesthetic learner, absorbing knowledge best by actually seeing and doing something myself. Just reading about events in a textbook and attending class lectures could never compare to our required hours working in the industry, real-world class projects, volunteer work and participation in networking associations.q: How could the hospitality program have been better?
a: It's too far from Main Campus, where I lived the first two years. It's not a bad thing, necessarily, but just a different college experience; while most UCF students were going to parties and tailgating, I was working at my internships.q: A UCF memory?
a: For "The Event Industry" course, I volunteered at an event at the Orange County Regional History Center. Several of us ended up touring the museum and posed for a bunch of fun photos, like in front of museum's faux orange groves. I liked the event so much that I applied for an internship. How embarrassed I was when interviewer Julie Noda '05 said she had looked up all of the intern candidates on Facebook and was impressed with the photos of me in the History Center! So a word of advice: we all know employers check the Internet so don't post photos that could affect your image negatively, but also focus on positive ways to portray yourself - while not intentional, the pictures helped get me the job!q: Favorite meal in Orlando?
a: Sunday brunch at Park Plaza Gardens, where I order the eggs benedict which comes on a croissant with cheddar smashed redskin potatoes. My favorite at B.B. King's is "Boil from the Bayou" which is shrimp, corn on the cob, and baby baker potatoes served with really good garlic bread.q: On your iPod?
a: At work we listen to Pandora radio, with lots of 80's music including Journey and Phil Collins. I also like Kings of Leon (who I just saw at UCF), The Fray, Fall Out Boy and Carrie Underwood.q: Little known fact about you?
a: I'm obsessed with the Orlando Magic and Hedo Turkoglu. I've gone to every home game in the playoffs.