Amber McCalry

Major: Event Management
Company/Organization: ISU Catering
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Ames, IA
Timeframe: Summer
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


I assisted in the daily management of catering orders and contracts (BEOs) while also interacting with clients and our kitchens to ensure that all catering orders are correct. I communicated with all departments and our clients on a daily basis, either in-person or via phone/email, to verify contract details. My manager also gave me special projects to work on outside of these tasks, which included leading production meetings, doing research to redo our catering menu, assist with wedding consultations, and help coordinate catering for large student events such as DIS (Destination Iowa State). I also attended events that I had a hand in coordinating, and assisted with both FOH and BOH duties.


To date, my greatest accomplishment has been completely re-doing our department's & "wedding box". The old box was very unappealing to the eye and held numerous binders (that were also very unpleasant looking) that contained our menu items, specialty desserts, bar offerings and keg/distributor pricing, terms and conditions, fees, etc. It was very unorganized, hard to transport from room to room, and in general just dated. Given a small budget, I was allowed to do some shopping for supplies to upgrade this box. My shopping was very successful, and the tote I found has wheels. It now holds all of our sample linens, China Serviceware items, updated binders(both the binder itself and the pages within), and client information. It may seem small, but it is much prettier and far more efficient than the old one!

Learning experience

I have learned to be unafraid of asking questions, even when I think I may know the answer. I am surrounded by so much industry knowledge and a simple question often triggers a more extensive conversation on the topic, and I have soaked in so much from this. In my time at Iowa State, I have asked maybe ten or fifteen questions during class. During this internship, ten or fifteen questions per day is normal.

What advice would you give?

Don't be afraid of big responsibilities! It may seem a bit daunting at first to be placed in charge of huge tasks or events, but stay determined and know that you are capable (even if you feel like you aren't at first). Internships are a place to grow and learn, and you won't do that by staying in your comfort zone. Ask as many questions as you can, stay involved with your boss and team, and soak up as much knowledge and information as you can!

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