Hospitality Management Major
Sloane Carucci Peterson has witnessed a lot of weddings, but not as a guest or a member of the bridal party. Wedding celebrations are a routine part of the job for Sloane, who works in guest services at luxury hotels and resorts.
“Each wedding is different and unique and they are so cool to watch,” Sloane says. “I have already seen two grooms ride in on horses for their weddings.”
Sloane landed her first job as a guest services representative at Hilton Pearl River after attending an information session at a nearby college. She worked with guests making reservations and got a taste of what the hospitality industry is like, while also holding down a second job as an essential worker at ShopRite throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Though her time at Hilton Pearl River was cut short because of the pandemic, the connections she made as a Hospitality Management major at St. Thomas Aquinas College eventually helped her land an internship four hours from home at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa, and Marina in Cambridge, Maryland where she has been working and living since May 2021.
In her role there, Sloane is learning many facets of the industry, including management, food services, and developing new ideas for concessions. Though it is her first time living away from home, she is grateful for the experience and says she most enjoys bringing smiles to her guests’ faces.
“I love that I have the power to do whatever it takes to make a guest’s stay better,” Sloane says. “Whether it means giving someone a late checkout or giving them a complimentary night, I love helping to make their stay more enjoyable.”
Sloane appreciates how her day-to-day work connects directly with what she’s learned as a student in the Hospitality Management program at STAC, as well as special opportunities that working in the industry makes possible to give back to the community. For example, thanks to her work experience and Professor Angela McDonnell’s Event Planning class, Sloane was able to help organize a benefit for Meals on Wheels in partnership with Rockland Community College.
“The event raised $3,375 for Meals on Wheels,” she says. “It was an international tasting which featured food from different countries paired with beer from Gentle Giant Brewery. It was a very successful event and was enjoyed by the community.”
Professor McDonnell admires Sloane’s dedication to her career path. “Sloane is an extremely hard worker both in college and outside of college,” she says. “What I like most about her is her ‘Yes, I can do that’ approach and attitude. She is destined for great things and I’m delighted she took a leap of faith and took up the offer of internship at Hyatt Regency Chesapeake.”
Sloane is from a family of STAC alumni, which includes her mother, Larayne Peterson, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, as well as several aunts and uncles. She grew up in Valley Cottage, New York, and was a Girl Scout from kindergarten through twelfth grade, and earned bronze, silver, and gold awards. She also worked as a Girl Scouts camp counselor every summer, and was nicknamed “Bueller” because she shares the same name as a character in her favorite movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Today, Sloane is a lifetime member of the organization.
“Girl Scouts helped me to become more independent and confident in everything I do and has had a major impact on my life and who I am today,” she says.
In her downtime, Sloane loves cooking, baking, crafting and spending time outdoors hiking and camping. She’s also an avid Disney and Harry Potter fan and holds a Black Belt in martial arts.
When she graduates, Sloane plans to continue working in hospitality and learning all areas of the business before settling into the one she likes most.
“I will embrace every opportunity I am given,” she says, “and I know I will be prepared thanks to my education at St. Thomas Aquinas College.”