This article is the fourth in a series about SUNY Broome alumni at Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Click here for the first article in the series, which details the diverse career opportunities at the Tioga County business and introduces you to HR director Karen Shelp, a SUNY Broome alumna. Click here to read about Alicia Iacovelli, the sales manager planning the upcoming Alumni Event. Click here to read about Brianna Sheppard, Tioga Downs’ social media maven.
Sometimes, you join an organization, truly love your job – and then find yourself on another career path. That change isn’t failure; it’s growth. And if you can achieve that growth at the same company, you know you’re in a good place.
Take Michelle Jones, who earned an Associate’s degree in Business Administration at SUNY Broome and then completed a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Hotel and Restaurant Management at SUNY Delhi.
“I worked in restaurants my whole life, in serving and bartending. One day, I realized I like the industry,” she said.
She joined Tioga Downs Casino Resort in 2013 as a food and beverage supervisor, and later became an assistant restaurant manager. When she and her partner decided to start a family, the notoriously crazy hours of the hospitality industry were no longer a good fit and she became a recruiter in Human Resources.
At present, she is recruiting for 40 open positions; Tioga Downs has around 730 employees. She is also responsible for offering successful candidates their positions and can frequently be seen at events such as the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Job Fair at SUNY Broome, which typically attracts more than 90 employers along with job-seekers from throughout the region.
“My favorite part of the job here is being able to go out to job fairs at colleges and let them know what the casino is about. It’s a great place to work,” she said. “I love the hospitality industry.”
She also has met with Applied Learning & Career Center staff to explore internship opportunities that can give students both needed experience and a foothold in the hospitality industry.
Michelle’s Business Administration degree prepared her not only for transfer to SUNY Delhi, but for the various iterations of her career, and she uses the skills and knowledge she gained daily. A local native, she stayed close to home for her first college degree – and, like many students, had been initially unsure about her career trajectory.
“I think Broome is a great school. It’s a great stepping stone to get you where you want to be,” she said. “It’s such a small family; you’re not with 300 students and you get one-on-one interactions with great instructors.”