All the ingredients of a successful academic career were there for Evan Coyne—interesting class work and campus activities, study abroad at international tourist destinations and valuable co-op experiences. When they were all stirred together with an eyes-wide-open approach to the hospitality industry, she shaped a career that began this spring with one of the most distinguished hotel chains in the United States.
Coyne will work at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Fla., in the events department as a meetings and special events coordinator.
The hospitality major from Palmyra, N.Y., had once said that she was surprised by the many options the hospitality industry offered. And she learned important lessons along the way from both industry professionals abroad and those at home.
“The whole hospitality industry is based upon the idea of serving people. And serving others is not about what you can get, but what you can give,” she says. “My mom used to tell me to believe in delayed gratification. It goes to show hard work does pay off. My advice to younger students at RIT: do what you love and take advantage of every opportunity RIT has to offer.”
Several of those opportunities included helping to coordinate the RITz Black Tie Dinner and Fundraiser, acting as president of the Hospitality Student Association and participating in study-abroad travel to Croatia and Dubai.
“The study-abroad experiences in Dubai and Croatia were both very humbling experiences. They offered me a global perspective necessary to be successful this industry,” says Coyne, who also had co-ops at local establishments Steamboat Landing, in Canandaigua, N.Y., and at the Del Monte Lodge Hotel & Spa, located in Pittsford, N.Y., in guest reception, food and beverage service and sales positions.
“My internship for 10 months at the Ritz-Carlton Naples really opened the door for this opportunity in Amelia Island,” she adds. “I had the privilege of working with individuals from all over the world—South Africa, Spain, Serbia and Netherlands— learning from exceptional managers who are so eloquent, knowledgeable and share the same passion I have for the industry.”