Leslie Lone ’06
Hometown: Austin, TX
Current Location: New York City, NY
Why did you choose SHA?
I came to visit BU after being accepted into SHA, as I had never been to Boston in my life and had basically applied blindly. The School was very eager to have me experience what BU and SHA are all about during my two-day stay. They set up an overnight stay with a SHA student (Katie Finamore, SHA’03) and then an all-day tour with another (Shirley Chan, SHA’03) so I could see BU through the eyes of a student. I also sat with former Dean Stamas and had a lengthy conversation about my career goals, my concerns, and my questions as a student who would be leaving home 2,000 miles away. That afternoon I realized that no school would go out of their way like SHA had to ensure I was making the best decision. Before I left Dean Stamas’s office to go to the airport, I asked him to turn in all of my admissions paperwork. To this day, I believe attending SHA was the wisest choice I have made in my life.
What is your favorite BU memory?
Freshman year I lived on West Campus, it had been snowing all day (for one of the first times that winter) and all of us Southerners and West Coasters were so thrilled we rallied a crowd of students and had a huge snowball fight on Nickerson Field.
What was your first full-time job, and how did you end up in your current position?
I graduated and went on to complete a Food & Beverage Management in Training with Starwood Hotels & Resorts at the St. Regis Hotel Houston in Texas. I was promoted within some months to assistant food & beverage manager, where I oversaw Room Service. After two years there, I transferred within Starwood to open the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills in California as the room service manager. With almost two years there, I transferred again to be a part of another opening team at the W New York Downtown in NYC. This summer I moved uptown to manage the Food & Beverage Outlets at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.
Please describe your current role and how your SHA education has impacted your career.
Currently, I help oversee the food and beverage outlets, which include the three-meal restaurant, room service, our morning Starbucks café, bar, and club lounge in a 1,700+ room property with a very strong union environment. I definitely have to credit SHA for allowing me to experience all sectors of the hospitality industry through my internships, which ultimately made my passion in food and beverage clear. I was able to work in Rooms when I studied abroad in Madrid, in Human Resources at the Four Seasons through a professor’s recommendation, and free-standing restaurants versus hotels. SHA’s career resources are invaluable as they allow students to figure out where they fit best in the industry; also, most employers now seek candidates with experience.
Any advice for current and prospective students?
Raise your hand, get to know the SHA faculty and staff, be involved—you’ll be thankful you did at the end of your four years on Comm. Ave.