Birgitta Grebner

Birgitta gains professional experience through ISU Dining

Birgitta (Britta) Grebner found her career path while on a Mediterranean cruise in high school. After talking with a recent graduate who was working, she knew hospitality management was her desired profession, and she decided to come to Iowa State.

In addition to her coursework, Britta started to think about how she could gain experience in the industry. She found a job with ISU Dining, and started working there her freshman year.

“Hospitality is a field where skills are acquired through experience,” she said. “You can learn the basics, but you have to get out and learn in person too.”

Her experience at ISU Dining proved beneficial when it came time to find an internship. Originally, Britta was going to graduate in the fall of 2016. However, after meeting with her adviser and looking at her degree audit, she realized all her requirements had been met, meaning she was graduating a semester early—except for her internship. It was a very stressful moment for her, and she wants to encourage future students to follow a four-year plan so they don’t end up in a similar situation.

“I advise students follow the four year plan their program gives,” she said. “I didn’t, and it became much more difficult to complete and graduate on time.”

Britta started looking for an internship she could complete during the spring semester instead of paying summer tuition. She liked her current job and decided to ask her boss at ISU Dining if they could work something out. They did.

She held a supervisor position at the time she started her internship, so not a whole lot changed, but she did learn a few new elements like the importance of communication in the work place and other managerial skills.

With her years of experience, Britta received an internship offer from the Des Moines Golf and Country Club immediately after her graduation. She said she’s excited for it, because she gets to learn a different aspect of hospitality management that fits her future career goals.

“The reason I picked hospitality was to work with people and develop relationships,” she said. “You get to do some of that in hotels and restaurants, but club members last. I’m excited to see what I think about that type of industry.”