CHAPEL HILL, NC – Carolina Meadows is thrilled to announce the selection of two exceptional students for the spring session of its newly formed Eagles at the Meadows Internship Program with North Carolina Central University: Taylor McCracken and Courtney Farrington. The program aims to recognize the important contributions NCCU students make at Carolina Meadows and provide professional experience that will allow them to “soar as they embark on their careers.”
Launched in 2015, Eagles at the Meadows offers 10 to 12-week internships in marketing, hospitality, dining and information technology services. Taylor McCracken, a senior hospitality and tourism major with an interest in hotel and resort management, was thrilled when she was selected as the dining and hospitality intern.
“It’s kind of the crème de la crème of an internship,” said McCracken. “I feel very important here and I get to see everything that goes into the back end. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very fun.”
As the dining and hospitality intern, McCracken will spend the first half of the semester in dining services, helping to transition the paper inventory system into a more efficient computerized system. For the second half of her internship, she will get an inside look at the management side of hospitality.
“The goal is to gain enough experience to become manager-ready. That way, you’re qualified for better jobs after graduation,” said McCracken.
It was McCracken’s professor, Barry Shuster that originally sparked her interest in the Eagles at the Meadows Internship Program.
“We are immensely fortunate to have Carolina Meadows, in our proverbial backyard, as a partner in educating traditional and non-traditional students to serve this population,” Shuster said. “My hope is that our students will gain practical experience in the current best practices in property and foodservice management and operations, guest/residence service, security, sanitation, and more.”
Courtney Farrington, a mass communication major in her junior year, was also excited to gain real-world experience when she was first accepted as the marketing intern last fall. She returns to the marketing services department this semester to continue her work in market research, building key relationships and providing excellent customer service.
“We are thrilled to have two interns joining us this semester,” said Ted Pattison, Carolina Meadows’ vice president of training and development. “Taylor will learn how to work with inventory, how to manage several employees and how to run an entire department, and Courtney will continue her hands-on work with the marketing team.”
“It’s an absolute joy having these bright students on our campus,” said Charlie Lehmann, resident and adviser for the Eagles at the Meadows Internship Program. “We look forward to giving them a lucrative opportunity to gain real-world experience in their field.”
NCCU leaders were happy to work with Carolina Meadows to develop the program last fall and are looking to expand the program to more departments.
“We are always looking for opportunities to showcase the talents of our students and enhance their education,” said Deborah Brame, director of Student Professional Development at North Carolina Central University. “The partnership with Carolina Meadows allows our students to use what they have worked hard learning in the classroom and apply it in the real world.”
“I can already tell that I’m going to be learning a lot,” said McCracken. “To be a hotel or resort manager, I’m going to have to know about every department and this will be my first time experiencing all aspects of the job in a supportive environment.”
McCracken said as soon as a staff member finds out she is an intern, they jump at the opportunity to help her.
“Everyone is so nice! They really want you to succeed here,” said McCracken.
In addition to the relationships that she’s made with staff, McCracken also speaks highly of her interactions with Carolina Meadows residents.
“I love learning from their experiences and hearing their stories,” said McCracken. “I really see the mission to improve the lives of seniors being done here. Everyone here looks happy all the time.”
About Carolina Meadows
Carolina Meadows, located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, was founded in 1983 and is one of the nation’s foremost continuing-care retirement communities. The 166-acre campus boasts private homes and apartments that include a state-of-the-art wellness center, indoor pool, dining venues, a nine-hole golf course, tennis courts and much more. Visit Carolina Meadows online at www.carolinameadows.org.