Student Spotlight: Jamie Fredericks
Major: Hospitality Management
College of DuPage alumnae Jamie Fredericks is back at her alma mater to help run the Inn at Water's Edge.
The six-room boutique hotel is part of the new Culinary & Hospitality Center located on campus in Glen Ellyn. Once the Inn opens to the public in fall 2011, it will double as a learning lab for students in the Culinary and Hospitality Management program, the same program from which Fredericks graduated.
"I always kept in touch with (Hospitality associate professor) Mary Beth Leone, who is also a mentor," Fredericks said. "When she told me about the opening, I thought, 'Wow! This is a perfect fit.' "
After graduating from Glenbard North High School, Fredericks wanted to stay close to home and was impressed by the quality of the Hospitality Management program at College of DuPage. She started classes at the same time she landed a job at the new Courtyard by Marriott in St. Charles.
Fredericks remained with Marriott after earning her associate's degree and three certificates with honors. She worked at a variety of Marriott hotels in the western suburbs, filling such positions as Event Housing Coordinator, Assistant General Manager and Director of Sales.
In her role at the Inn at Water's Edge, Fredericks addresses the operations of the hotel and renting the conference space on the second floor and private events in the new Waterleaf fine dining restaurant. In addition, she works directly with Hospitality Management students, who are required to complete a 150-hour internal coop that consists of 50 hours at the front desk, 50 hours in housekeeping and 50 hours in ancillary hotel positions, such as the bell staff.
"Mary Beth was always an inspiration to me when I was a student. She gave me a sense of the hotel career that would best suit me," she said. "With me returning to COD, I can now be that person for students. I was in their shoes, so I understand how they feel."
Leone is happy to have Fredericks back at College of DuPage.
"Jamie was one of my first students," she said. "I was impressed by her outgoing nature and willingness to learn all of the facets of running a hotel. With her experience in the industry and her familiarity with College of DuPage, she is the ideal person to work here."
After spending 12 years with Marriott, Fredericks is ready for a new challenge.
"I like meeting people on a constant basis and providing hospitality," she said. "Being at College of DuPage allows me to combine working at a hotel with preparing students for the industry. I couldn't ask for a better position."