Internships involve challenging opportunities, real world projects and face to face interaction with our guests. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain hands-on experience and be part of an innovative team. Read some of the stories below to find out what your day could be like as a So Students Sodexo intern.
Are you a current Sodexo intern? We’d love to hear about your experience, tell us on the Campus Intern Survey.
A facility manager's journey from Intern to Vice President
If you surveyed kindergarteners on their choice of future careers, very few would say I want to manage buildings.
Facility Management (FM) is a profession for those who love puzzles as much as they love helping people. It is made up of fixers, problem solvers, and innovators each with their own story of how they made FM a destination. Once you arrive, you are quickly brought into a community where lifting others up is as important as keeping a building running.
Jade Anderson, Vice President Facilities – West for Sodexo Universities, found Facilities Management at the end of a winding journey. Growing up on a cattle ranch, working in the field with his hands, he knew he wasn't bound for a desk job. After traveling abroad, Jade enrolled as a Japanese major at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Quickly, he realized that he needed a career path that was more active – a profession where he could think out of the box. After going through a course catalog, he stumbled upon BYU's Facility Management major.
Sodexo came to my campus to speak about careers. So, I applied for an internship…and was rejected, said Anderson. For most, that would have been the end of their story, but not for Anderson. Come spring, I reached out again and told them that I would like to intern with Sodexo. They just happened to have an opening. That was the key for me to be accepted for an internship.
After graduation, he received an offer to join Sodexo in a hands-on training program. Not only did his skills increase, but he began to understand that FM was not just a profession about buildings, it was about helping others. I was propped up by mentors who pointed me in the right direction. They helped me build a network of people to counsel, bounce ideas, and helped me take creative approaches to solve problems.
After six months, he received his first permanent placement in the Universities segment where he was recently promoted to Vice President.
I was surrounded by very supportive people. Their advice and support gave me the confidence to grow. Now, I get to build a region and set the tone as a culture of collaboration, reflects Anderson.
What should the next generation do to get ahead in the field? Anderson gives this advice: If I’ve learned anything it is that you can't wait around. You need to identify what you want, your goals and not take no for an answer. Pursuit makes you desirable.
Tina Reddington, National Manager of Wellness and Nutrition for Schools and Universities
Where is your hometown?
I live in Harpers Ferry, WV but I grew up in Annandale, VA.
Where did you go to college?
I attended the University of Maryland at College Park.
How do you become a Campus Intern?
I was an intern with Virginia Tech and there was an opportunity to do my community rotation at George Mason University and it was close to home so I took the position.
What was the best part of your internship?
At GMU I organized a full health fair with a walk to wellness theme where students followed the footstep path on the ground and stopped at stations with fresh fruit, healthy spices and goodies from our contracted vendors. It was a huge hit!
How did Sodexo recruit you?
The District Manager at GMU convinced me to apply to a position at American University and I have worked in different segments throughout my career.
What is your role at Sodexo now?
I am the National Manager of Wellness and Nutrition for Schools and Universities.
What is your favorite part of working for Sodexo?
The ability to learn new skills and grow in your career in different work environments.
Do you have any advice for Interns?
If someone asks you if you want to do a project that is out of your comfort zone, grab the chance! Diversify your skill set to make you more marketable and grow your knowledge of the business.
Agnes Nkansah, Marketing Intern-Brandeis University
What is your area of study?
International/Global Health Administration
What are some of your responsibilities as a Sodexo Marketing Intern?
I engage with the student body through social media accounts and capturing moments with students and the Brandeis Dining team among other things. This internship has allowed me to understand the importance of effective communication whether it be through posts, emails, or one on one conversations. Week to week I am tasked to keep up with momentum of all this industry entails, in addition to appropriately adapting and communicating these changes to our student body.
What have you learned during your internship and how can you apply it to school or in a career?
Through this internship I’ve come to learn the difference in academic writing and everyday communicative tools, which are not taught in the classroom, how to effectively grab someone's attention and relay a message with very few words. Brandeis Dining serves thousands of students, and manages a number of workers daily and I have been in the midst of ever changing menus, new ideas, locations and colleagues.
Since starting at Sodexo I have gained more confidence in myself professionally, while pursuing my bachelors degree in International and Global Studies and Health Administration. I believe this internship has and continues to help me apply the academic work I am doing to the real world, in the field of Business and Health Administration.
Kristina Redmond, Dietetic Intern-Merrimack College
Meghan Keenan, Sodexo Dietetic Intern
Nyatasha Jackowicz , Marketing Intern-Bryant University
Nyatasha Jackowicz is a Senior and a Marketing and Social Media intern at Bryant University majoring in Marketing.
Day to Day Responsibilities
- Social media engagement
- Designing and creating content for marketing materials
- Planning promotional events and covering them on social media
- Creating Snapchat filters for the Bryant Dining Staff. We were able to create a filter for a Thanksgiving themed meal and it turned out to be a huge hit. Snapchat allows its users to see the metrics post event and it was refreshing to see that it was well received by the students.
- Completing my internship! Bryant Dining has given me one of my most rewarding internships to date. Upper management has helped me grow as a student and as a worker and I am very grateful for all of the opportunities I've been given in this position. I would definitely recommend this internship to my peers because of the supportive environment and the learning opportunities.
Stephen Rykola, Marketing Intern-Suffolk University
Stephan Rykola is a Marketing Intern at Suffolk University in Boston. He is Sophomore, majoring in Business Management and Entrepreneurship.
Day to Day Responsibilities
- Maintain social media accounts
- Create advertisements for events on campus
- Hold meetings with my boss to discuss plans on upcoming events and things to cover on social media
- Attend Dining Dialogue's in residence hall cafeterias
- Help work on Monthly Client Updates
- Plan special events (Greener Sodexo Trial)
- Sustainability posts and advertisements
- Advertisements on Instagram for vegan/vegetarian options both old and new such as the impossible burger
Accomplishments and Lessons Learned
My favorite accomplishment so far at my internship has been the "Greener Sodexo Trial". Sustainability is a huge thing on Suffolk's Campus. We had completely removed plastic from the Smith Café Starbucks, replacing bottled beverages with canned beverages, replaced simply to go containers with paper alternatives, and had replaced Starbucks Iced Cups with the Starbucks Hot Cups. I had found that Blue Bottle Coffee Company had done this with their coffee cups, and it had worked extremely well. So I had called the idea of where I had gotten the paper cup idea the "blue bottle model". At the event I had conducted a survey which had said 96.6% of Suffolks students would prefer paper hot cups for their iced drinks over plastic, as you could use the sip lid in lieu of straws. The event had gone so well, that we are doing a second test run, this time aiming to get feedback from administration this time as well as students to see what the schools faculty and staff think of it.
From my internship I have developed the following skills-
- School/Life/Work balance
- Time management
- Communication and Presentation
- How marketing fits in to business success
Phoebe Smith, Sustainability Intern-Marist College
Phoebe Smith is a senior, sustainability intern at Marist College.
Area Of Study
Business Marketing and Environmental Policy
- Helped Marist Dining to apply for and achieve 2-Star Green Restaurant Certification at North End Dining
- Successfully launched the "Clean Plate Club" campaign during Sustainability Week where guests received coupons for campus retail locations
- Re-launched a revamped Lean Path Food Waste program in Main Dining Hall which included training the dining management team on the benefits of the Lean Path system
- Seeing the usage of the Lean Path program grow to collect over 5,000 pounds of pre-consumer waste in 2019
- Achieving 2-Star Green Restaurant Certification at North End Dining in 2019, with a goal in 2020 for 3-Star certification
Joseph Robinson, Marketing Intern-Winthrop University
Joseph Robinson is a integrated business communication and marketing major at Winthrop University. Some of the things that Joseph feels are critical to success are:
- Effective social media advertising involves a personal online presence.
- By bridging the gap between social media and personal communication you build trust.
- Look for those on social media that have a high engagement rate to identify "campus influencers" and connect with them to create relationships.
- Look for commonalities, such as leading a Vegan lifestyle, to help get out targeted messaging through your influencers.
Elyse Rugee, Marketing Intern-Gonzaga University
Elyse Rugee, Marketing Intern at Gonzaga University, loves recognizing great customer service. She recently launched a new effort with her management team to recognize dining services employee's hard work and dedication. Below is a simple four step plan to recreate this awesome effort at any account-
Customer Experience Recognition Steps to Success
- Send surveys to your managers with the purpose of recognizing employees
- Interview your employees to find out their passions, length of service and what they like about their jobs, take pictures and create collateral with bios
- Utilize social media to spread the word with hashtags for each employee so others could participate in giving thanks and appreciation
- Continue the program monthly with the team
Larissa Ridgeway, Sustainability Intern-Gonzaga University
A Three-Question interview with Larissa Ridgeway; a Sustainability Intern at Gonzaga University.
What are your main responsibilities?
"As a sustainability Intern, I help to promote sustainability and practices in dining services. I have hosted events to educate students, worked closely with a variety of student groups that have a focus on environmental and sustainable practices, and worked on sustainable certifications for our dining locations on campus."
What achievement, during your internship, are you most proud of?
"The achievement I'm most proud of during my internship is the amount of events I was able to hold and the impact the events had on the campus community. One of the first events I hosted was a tabling event in our main dining hall to educate students about the Better Tomorrow 2025 initiative through an interactive experience. Students could stop by multiple tables to collect the materials to make their own terrarium; dirt, activated charcoal, rocks and a succulent on top! The event was a huge success and so widely popular we ran out of succulents in 40 minutes! We also host Greenhouse Yoga on Saturday mornings. Conducted by a Spokane area Yoga instructor and held in the hydroponic greenhouse. The students who participated really enjoyed the unique location of the class."