How a 'lightbulb' moment helped put a Penn State alumna on her career path

January 27, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Caitlin Crable always knew she wanted to work with people, but it wasn’t until she found the Penn State School of Hospitality Management that she knew could take elements of what she loved and make it a career.

Crable graduated in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management. The Penn State alumna started her undergraduate career as a physical therapy major at a different university and studied criminal justice and law before enrolling in Penn State’s hospitality management program.

She worked in management and administrative positions in recruitment, criminal justice and law, when she realized her passions and experiences could contribute to a successful career in hospitality management.

“I realized that hospitality management was something I was really interested in, and when I figured that out, it was just like a lightbulb moment,” said Crable, 26. “It combined operations management, which I knew and loved professionally, with my passion for anticipating and responding to needs to reach a desired outcome. It just all clicked for me.”

Crable said she researched the School of Hospitality Management and knew it was a perfect fit, enrolling in January 2018. In addition to her coursework, she completed internships locally and abroad, including at the Renaissance Tuscany il Ciocco Resort and Spa in Tuscany, Italy, from May to August 2019, thanks to a partnership between the school and Shaner Hotel Group.

Through the hospitality operations management program, Crable worked closely with operational leaders in several departments, including sales, meetings and events, food and beverage, housekeeping, reservations, rooms management and general management. She also worked with the head chef, Alessandro Manfredini, who will visit State College in February for the WPSU Connoisseur’s Dinner and Auction.

Crable said one of her most rewarding experiences was helping to design a new breakfast buffet and presenting it to management.

“It was a collaboration that required a lot of input and precision to ensure we met specific criteria,” she said. “It was a wonderful opportunity for me to work with and learn from several department heads, and in the end, I was really excited to be able to present our final product to the architects.”

Crable returned to University Park for her final semester and graduated last fall after completing her major’s requirements in two years. She now works in San Francisco as a guest relations manager at the city’s InterContinental hotel.

Crable said she is thankful for what her Penn State experience provided her.

“I gained so much more than I could have anticipated from the program,” she said. “I am looking forward to utilizing what I learned through the experience as I continue in my hospitality management career.”

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 27, 2020