Hotel operations. Sales and marketing. Security and surveillance. Food and beverage. Finance. These are some of the departments UNLV students are exploring as part of a new internship program at the latest Strip property, Resorts World Las Vegas.
Working in collaboration with the UNLV Harrah College of Hospitality, the 3,506-room resort is offering on-property internship sessions to UNLV students each semester. The program aims to sharpen the students’ professional skills in an on-the-job setting like no other.
“You learn a lot in the classroom,” said Scott Sibella, Resorts World Las Vegas president and a Hospitality College alumnus. “The professors are great. But it’s so important to get experience at a property.”
The 1988 UNLV grad worked alongside his executive team, many of whom are fellow Rebels, to develop a program that stays true to the Hospitality College’s tradition of intensive hands-on training.
“Getting work experience when I was a UNLV student reinforced that I wanted to be in this business,” Sibella said.
As part of a 12-week internship session, students undergo an in-depth selection, interviewing, and training process before being assigned to a department that aligns with their interests. They are then rotated through at least two additional departments for maximum exposure.
On the Ground Floor
The first cohort of students began their internship just weeks before the property’s June 24, 2021 grand opening.
“I was fortunate enough to be a part of employee training and pre-opening,” said Mallory Bali, a Resorts World Las Vegas summer intern. “It was an amazing experience where everyone on property was excited to learn as we go and create something phenomenal.”
With the second cohort underway and plans for future sessions in the works, the program has found its stride. To date, each session has taken in more than 20 interns, consisting of UNLV undergraduates, recent graduates, and post-graduate students. Though the majority are Hospitality College students, participants also represent the Lee Business School and the College of Urban Affairs.
“We’re committed to working with our UNLV partners to do what’s right for the students,” said Charles Brewer, human resources director of learning and development at Resorts World Las Vegas. “It’s a true collaboration.”
Already eleven interns from the first cohort have been placed in full-time positions at the property (with several others working on internship extensions), the program is a runaway success.
“The students are such a great representation of our community, our two organizations, and the future of this industry,” Brewer said. “We’re proud to partner with UNLV on this program and believe together we’re helping to shape the next generation of hospitality leaders.”