Students in Monica Carpenter’s Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism class were fortunate enough to meet one of Orlando’s lodging industry dynamos.  Ms. Pat Engfer, the General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Orlando International Airport, a member of the Rosen College Dean’s Advisory Board and a 2008 inductee into Rosen College’s Central Florida Hospitality Hall of Fame, shared her career experience and advice with students as a guest speaker.

Engfer, who holds a degree from East Carolina University in Parks, Recreation and Conservation, encouraged all students to earn a college degree.  “Without a degree, applicants won’t even be considered for a corporate manager position with Hyatt.”

She wisely cautioned students to be realistic about opportunities and not be afraid to roll up their sleeves.  “When I first started working,” shares Engfer, “I worked six days a week for at least 12 hours a day.”  Early in her career, she supervised housekeeping and scrubbed tubs and toilets to ensure that the job was done appropriately.  As a result of her hard work, she laughed, “I now have no fingerprints.”

Her work ethic and positive demeanor have led to various rooms management positions with Hyatt properties across the country.  She has even been named a Hyatt Hotels GM of the Year and a Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association Hotelier of the Year.

The students eagerly asked about the types of degrees and work experience she recommended to start a career path with Hyatt.  Engfer emphasized that if an applicant is warm, friendly and engaging, they will have an advantage over the competition.  “If I want to spend more time with you, I’ll hire you,” she shares.

Engfer strives to develop motivated associates into general managers.  “I just want to make a difference and positively impact my associates’ careers.”

Rosen College is pleased to have such strong relationships with key industry players, like Ms. Engfer and we appreciate her industry insight.