Hands-on Opportunities Give One Student Exposure to the Casino Industry
Anastasia Stankiewicz is developing a wide array of skills and preparing for a people-centered career through opportunities in the College of Health and Human Development and at Penn State.
A Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Management (HRIM) major, Anastasia says she is passionate about working with people. As vice president of Penn State’s Ballroom Dance Club, Anastasia competes, teaches lessons, and helps plan and host social events. She says the club is a “fun way to meet people and de-stress.”
The HRIM program has introduced her to many career fields in the hospitality industry, but casinos have piqued her interest the most. “I see myself in the casino industry, whether that’s on the hotel side, in sales, or in human resources,” she says. “It’s a fun, growing environment.”
As a member of the Casino Management Club, Anastasia traveled with her peers to Atlantic City, New Jersey, where they had the opportunity to interview with different companies for internship opportunities. The students also got a tour of a casino from two alumni and did get to asked them questions about the industry. “It was cool to see Penn State alumni—where they are and what they are doing. We talked a lot about classes, and exchanged business cards,” she says.
Her favorite classes have been her casino classes, which are a recent addition to the HRIM curriculum. These courses cover a number of topics related to casinos and the gaming industry, from the history of casinos and casino math to the social impact of casinos and marketing.
One stand-out experience during her time at Penn State was an internship Anastasia completed with the Flamingo Las Vegas. In the internship, she gained hands-on experience with more than twenty departments in the hotel and casino facility. She worked with the housekeeping department, was on the floor with the slots and games tables, worked in the pool and spa area, human resources, and sales. She even helped produce a marketing video and brochure for the Flamingo’s Garden Chapel, which hosts weddings.
Being a part of the School of Hospitality Management and its supportive staff and faculty has also enhanced Anastasia’s time at Penn State. “The staff and faculty here make it a great program,” she says. “They have good advice, and they help you achieve your goals.”
The hands-on experience she’s getting and the connections she is making with alumni are helping her prepare for any direction her career takes her.