CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 7, 2015 – Jacqueline Collins of St. Louis is sampling the hospitality industry while learning from connoisseurs of fine wines at an internship this summer with Chaumette Vineyards and Winery in Ste. Genevieve, Missouri.
Collins is getting a close up look at the operations of the winery touted as a premier wine resort destination, providing many options for guests, including spas, overnight stays, a pool and a full-service restaurant. The facility offers award-winning wines, quality entertainment and elegant accommodations all in the city known as the home of the first colonial settlement west of the Mississippi River by the French in the early 1730s.
Guests from Missouri and surrounding states visit Chaumette, a family owned and operated business, allowing Collins the experience of interacting with many different kinds of people and satisfying their needs. She works in the events department, assisting with setup and reset of event spaces. She also fills in as a server.
A hospitality management major at Southeast Missouri State University, Collins says she greets guests visiting the winery and ensures they feel welcome, meeting their needs however she can.
“I present Chaumette as well as Southeast Missouri State University in a professional manner,” she says.
Collins is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in human environmental studies with an emphasis in hospitality management.
The internship is offering her the opportunity to explore a career field she had not thought previously about pursuing, she says. Since she has not settled on a career path, her internship is helping her narrow her choices.
“I wish just to explore and discover for now,” she said.
Collins’ major requires students complete a 420-hour internship along with University-related assignments. She discovered Chaumette Vineyards and Winery during her internship search, learned the venue was hiring students for the summer, eagerly applied and was offered a position.
Armed with knowledge from her classes, she headed to Ste. Genevieve, where she says she’s enjoying the experience.
“I have so many memories and I’m currently still making more,” she said. “I’ve learned so many things from the internship.”
Eventually, she wants to find a full-time position with a company, and continue to use the skills she is developing.
Collins says she has learned that preparation is the key to success in a job, and the reward she is earning this summer is “real life experience.”