Inside Knoebel Events

Kat and I, besides both being senior hospitality majors, club members, good friends, and internship buddies, are also Student Assistant Managers at Knoebel Events inside the Joy Burns Center at the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management.

When the hospitality building opened in 2006, it was designed to also function as an event center in addition to having classrooms and faculty offices (beloved Beans Café was added on later). On any given day, students, professionals, and engaged couples can be seen mulling around, each with their own purpose: attending classes, going through leadership trainings, or tasting food for their upcoming wedding. It’s part of what gives the Joy Burns Center its unique air, and what makes it a fantastic place to work.

What events are held here?

You name it, we’ve worked it. Early morning business meetings to late night weddings, bar mitzvahs, etiquette dinners, and different DU and Daniels events. Although my favorite events have been when I’ve gotten to serve my friends.

What positions are available?

There are two different departments students can work under, Back-of-House (BOH) and Front-of-House (FOH). BOH staff works in the kitchen and works under Executive Chef Tim Downs. Students can either be culinary staff or Student Assistant Managers (SAMs). Amy Campodonico, the Assistant Director of Operations, oversees the FOH staff. There are three different positions students hold as FOH staff: banquet servers, bartenders, and SAMs. Everyone starts as a banquet server--Kat and I started on the same day in 2015—and is given the opportunity to be promoted as time goes on.

Do you have to be a hospitality major to work here?

No, you can be any major and don’t even need previous experience in the industry! Although it is a good way to make a dent in the 1,000 work hours hospitality majors are required to complete.

What is the schedule like?

Since Knoebel Events employs students, the leadership team understands the challenges of being an involved, working student. You not only get to set your own quarterly availability, but can request what days you need off the week before. For instance, I have Sunday evenings listed as unavailable, so I never miss a Her Campus meeting! That being said, the hours mirror any in the hospitality industry. Some days I’m scheduled to come in to work an early morning breakfast at 5:30am, this Saturday, I’m scheduled form 2:30pm-3:30am for a wedding. Although the hours can sometimes be long, especially if you have class before or after you can’t find a more flexible schedule that works around school.

What are the perks?

One of the best perks is the food. Besides being fed every shift, any food that is leftover after events is up for grabs. I remember being the star of JMAC my freshman year, frequently coming home with leftover wedding cake. This week, I’ve snacked on bacon wrapped dates, steak, and ahi tuna crisps from my work shifts. The Knoebel staff is comprised of some of the best fed college students on campus.

Has working at Knoebel advanced your professional career?

When I started at Knoebel my freshman year as a banquet server, I had yet to work directly in the hospitality industry. I knew nothing of polishing silverware, table settings, or how to properly linen tables. I’ve learned all of these operational skills, and now as a SAM, I’ve gotten to learn how to be a good manager by working on my soft skills, such as how to lead and motivate a team. Not every college student is able to put professional managerial experience on their resume, let alone be left in charge of a multimillion-dollar building. I continue to learn something every shift and know that working at Knoebel has prepared me for working in the hospitality industry.

What is your favorite part of the job?

The people. We’re a close-knit community downstairs. I’ve been able to work with some of the same people for three years and have gotten to meet and develop friendships with people I otherwise wouldn’t have. No matter how stressful a shift can get or how late or early we’re scheduled, it’s the people that have made this a truly fun and enjoyable experience.

For inquiries about open positions please email [email protected] or [email protected]