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Allison Stroessenreuther

Allison Stroessenreuther

Hometown: Succasunna
Major: Hospitality Management

“The solid education I received from CCM’s Hospitality Management curriculum gave me the knowledge and confidence to apply for this position and succeed.”

Alaskan Internship a Dream Come True

Imagine spending your summer in one of the most pristine, scenic parks in America. That’s precisely what Allison Stroessenreuther did when she accepted a front-desk position at the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge in Denali State Park in Alaska as a County College of Morris (CCM) intern.

The previous year, her parents had taken a cruise in Alaska and noticed that students were working everywhere. So they suggested she apply to Alaskan tourism for a summer job. She did and landed a paid internship with the help of the Department of Career Services and Cooperative Education, which works with CCM students interested in obtaining internships.

“To do this job, required learning all the information about the hotel’s operation from luggage and housekeeping to transportation, tours and customer service,” she says. What she learned in her hospitality classes at CCM provided the background she needed including understanding the terminology used in the business.

“Most days, I worked the front desk selling tours and answering questions,” she says. She helped guests find missing luggage, assigned housekeeping to rooms not yet ready and provided assistance in planning activities. Also, every Saturday, and every other Wednesday, she rode the train 114 miles from Anchorage north to Talkeetna so she could sell tours along the way.

“I got to travel in a glass-top train,” she says. Among the breath-taking sights she enjoyed were mountains, glacial-fed rivers, lakes, moose, bald eagles and bears. Among her favorite experiences during her time in Alaska were landing on glaciers and lakes in small planes. An ever-present sight was the summit of Mount Denali, the highest peak in North America.

“This job opened up so many new doors because it was with Princess Cruises,” she says “It was exciting to work in the hospitality industry because I loved what I did every day. The solid education I received from CCM’s Hospitality Management curriculum gave me the knowledge and confidence to apply for this position and succeed.”

When Stroessenreuther graduates from CCM, she plans to pursue a guest services position at an upscale hotel in New York City.