Thirty-four SJSU hospitality and management students are among the 150,000 people converging on the Monterey Peninsula this week for the 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Though they may get a brief moment to soak in the sun, or even catch a glimpse of a top golfer or celebrity, the SJSU Special Event Management Team will be busy working.
Kelsey Castellano, ’16 Hospitality Management, arrived at the Pebble Beach resort at 6 a.m. Feb. 11, the day of the celebrity tournament. She expected to work a 12-hour shift.
“I can take a break, but I’ll probably just eat what’s nearby,” Castellano said, referring to a behind-the-scenes area where food is kept for employees to snack on.
One team. One dream.
Wearing blue Pebble Beach jackets, the SJSU students will spend a full week gaining valuable hands-on experience in a professional environment. They’re managing the concessions, including two hospitality tents and the on-course food and beverage operations.
Marissa Giacomo, another hospitality management major, is in charge of a concession stand near the 18th green. Her staff consists of volunteers from the Carmel Youth Center, which will receive 10 percent of the concession stand proceeds.
“It feels good to know everyone has a job. I’m surprised at how open they are to doing things,” Giacomo said.
The students manage and oversee multiple corporate client events; host VIP guests in luxury suites; interact with servers and bartenders; and help manage employees. Castellano is over-seeing five employees in one of the skyboxes for a corporate client.
“I’m in control of my staff,” she said. “They are asking me questions. Until today, I had no idea what it would be like.”
Many former students of the program say their time at the AT&T Pro-Am gave them enough experience and know-how of event management that they were able to get jobs right after graduation. In golf terms, that’s what you’d call, a hole in one.
This is the 10th year SJSU’s Hospitality Management Program has partnered with Pebble Beach Resorts to assist with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, one of the most popular golf competitions on the PGA tour.