Merlin Entertainments Group
Tell us about yourself and your current job/employer.
I graduated from the UM School of Business Administration in 2011 with a degree in Marketing. While at UM, I participated in the School of Business Peer Mentor/TA program, the Wakeboard club, and Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority. I had an amazing four years during school, and at the time, could not imagine life after Miami. Fortunately, though, I got the job of my dreams, which is why I am here writing to you today, I actually found my current position through my HireACane account. I saw the posting and immediately knew that it was the job for me. Moments later an email appeared in my inbox from Toppel, and I found out that the company would be on campus. It was FATE! So, now, nearly one year later, I sit at my desk in Las Vegas, Nevada, typing this bio. I currently work for Madame Tussauds Las Vegas, as a guest experience manager. In a few weeks I will be on my way back to the Sunshine State, to start work at LEGOLAND Florida. So what exactly do I do? Well, I am a Merlin Entertainments Group Graduate. Merlin is an international company that owns attractions all over the world. From New York to London; Shanghai to Australia, we own and operate brands like Madame Tussauds, Legoland, Sea Life, and the London Eye. And we are only growing. As a graduate, I am on the "fast track" to running my very own attraction one day. So, for the next one and a half years it is my job to travel the country, maybe even the world, and spend 6 months at a time at these attractions, learning everything that I can while contributing to the growth and success of the business. After that, I apply to a permanent position at the location of my choice. It has been one heck of a ride so far, and it is only getting better!
What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
I received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Marketing and minors in Economics and Fine Arts.
When and how did you begin to get involved with your career
development while at UM?
I started freshman year. I didn't want to waste any time, so I immediately got involved. I attended the fall Career Expo my freshman year. I was so intimated, but in the end, had great opportunity to give my networking skills a shot and speak with employers - something that I had never really done.
Next, I started to familiarize myself with Toppel and HireACane.com. I was always on the site browsing for positions and reviewing the provided resources. And when it came time to apply for my first ever internship, you better believe I took advantage of HireACane! I can still remember my first ever phone interview - sitting on the floor in the hallway of Walsh 6 (the quietest place that I managed to find). I then started seeking opportunities on campus to fill up my time as well as aid my in class learning. HireACane, again, was definitely a great resource for this. There were so many brand ambassador positions available. I mean, it makes sense, who would not want to have a presence on our lovely campus? I was able to secure a part time internship every single year, working for companies like Victoria's Secret, Green Monkey Yoga, and Procter and Gamble.
My senior year, I even got an internship with Pask Productions, an events company that put on events at Art Basel, the Sony Ericsson Open, and the Miami Beach Polo World Cup! My internships during the school year helped me to gain such valuable experience while also enabling me to interact with all of the students on campus. Furthermore, they taught me the crucial time management and work balance skills that continue to help me every day.
What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did
you find to be the most helpful?
The career fair immediately comes to mind. Like I said, I attended my first career fair during the fall of my freshman year. I remember attending as a senior and thinking back to that very first time- realizing how far I had truly come. It was crazy. I mean back then my resume was a list of activities that I took part of in high school. However, over time it grew into a diverse portfolio of experiences, skills, and activities - opportunities that I gained through my tenure at University of Miami.
Besides the fair, I would say the top three resources that Toppel provided me was HireACane website, the resume writing skills workshops, and company information sessions. First off, I was on HireACane at least once a day senior year. I used the thing more than Facebook- and that says a lot! But there was always something new popping up, and I surely did not want to miss it. I interviewed for a handful of jobs and my past two jobs actually were a direct result of applying through the site. Besides this, the info sessions were also amazingly helpful. I truly believe that the information session on Merlin Entertainments Group is the reason that I have my current job. With over 3000 applicants, the Merlin graduate program is extremely competitive. The information session was the perfect opportunity for me to make a name for myself early on, and put a face to my application and resume. I ended up meeting someone directly in HR at the session, and well, the rest is history.
Finally, I have the resume writing and critiquing workshops to thank for my resume. As a freshman, my resume consisted of a mash up of activities and interests from high school; it was disorganized and hard to read. The transformation over the years was remarkable.
What advice would you give to students as they plan for
Start as early as possible! In the words of Justin Bieber, "Never Say Never" always believe in yourself. Treat every application as it is "the one." It definitely becomes tough taking the time to fill out applications, especially when no response is received, but do not get yourself down about it! In the end, know that everything happens for a reason and everything falls into place. I have a wooden sign above my mirror that I look at every day- it reads; "Don't dream your life, Live your dreams." Take that and run with it.