Six hospitality students expand their experience at Hersheypark

Published 08.26.2022

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Six students in baking, pastry and culinary arts at Pennsylvania College of Technology recently completed summer internships that provided a wealth of real-world learning with Hershey Entertainment & Resorts.

Among them is Nataly Acosta, a culinary arts technology student from Shillington. She helped prepare food at various eateries inside Hersheypark, joining the teams at Milton’s Ice Cream Parlor, The Overlook Food Court and The Cabana Grill, as well as at Hersheypark Stadium and the Giant Center.

“All of these stands are amazing and gave me the opportunity to work in different settings, which is one of the reasons I picked Hershey to be my internship spot: because I knew it would give me the chance to work in different areas, and not just one repetitive spot,” Acosta said.

“I love to work in multiple, new and unique places because it allows me to gain new skills that I once did not have,” she added.

Hershey Entertainment & Resorts’ culinary internship program provides opportunities for students in accredited culinary programs to work alongside seasoned culinary professionals and sharpen their skills at six entities: Hersheypark Entertainment Complex, The Hotel Hershey, Hershey Lodge, Hershey Country Club, Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar, and Devon Seafood + Steak.

“Hershey Entertainment is a strong supporter of the baking and culinary arts program at Penn College,” said Chef Charles R. Niedermyer, instructor of baking and pastry arts/culinary arts and baking and pastry internship coordinator. “With multiple food and beverage operations, they offer unique and invaluable internship opportunities for current students. Additionally, they have employed full-time graduates in various leadership positions throughout the company.  We are excited to partner with such a recognized Pennsylvania employer.”

Representatives of Hershey Entertainment recruited Penn College students for internships and graduates for full-time positions during multiple on-campus events and hosted an April field trip for 26 Penn College business and hospitality students to explore facilities and learn more about working for Hershey attractions. Hosts included three Penn College alumni who were working for the world-famous chocolate company’s resorts.

“Several of our graduates have started their career with Hershey, and the chefs stated that they would employ as many students as we can send them,” said Chef Frank M. Suchwala, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts and culinary internship coordinator. “Our interns have always exhibited a great work ethic.  Some students have come back with a job offer in hand for after they graduate.”

Acosta said hands-on learning in Penn College’s classes and labs enabled her summer success at Hershey. Her highlight was joining the culinary team in Hersheypark Stadium during a July 30 Pitbull concert, part of the performer’s “Can’t Stop Us Now” tour.

“Penn College has prepared me for this experience by teaching me to be determined, prepared and a leader entering any job in the culinary industry,” Acosta said. “I enjoy working hard in a kitchen with a team and making guests happy. That is what the culinary industry is mainly about, and that is what I admire about it.”

To learn more about baking, pastry and culinary majors at Penn College, call 570-327-4519.

For information about Penn College, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.