Kimberly Schmerbach

Major: Event Management
Company/Organization: Des Moines Marriott Downtown
Destination: Des Moines, IA
Timeframe: Summer 2019
Advisor/Coordinator Email:


As an Event Operations Intern, I work in Marriott’s 28,000sqft of private event and conference space to set up, execute, and tear down functions held within the hotel. Key areas include learning about the Event Planning and Executing process, learning proper set up for an event given BEO details and Marriott service standards, and server etiquette. I attend leadership meetings weekly and have also shadowed the Event Planning/Management side of the operation as well.


So far, my greatest accomplishment this summer has been my internship project. Marriott International has a Meeting Services app that allows us to better communicate with our event guests when they are on site. The property that I’m working at hasn’t fully implemented this app yet. I have taken the initiative to set up a system to implement this app so that we can better serve our guests. I’m going to take the lead to get it started, and I plan to pass it on to someone else in the banquets department so they can continue to utilize the system.

Learning experience

One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far is how to react when situations don’t go as planned. Something goes wrong a lot of times, so you have to be prepared to deal with problems such as the kitchen getting the food out late for your event, the event manager not communicating correctly with your group, a contact who has a lot of needs when you are busy with other groups, etc. I have learned how to react to not ideal situations and still provide the guests with the best experience possible. Even if something goes wrong, I have still have the opportunity to give my guests the best experience.

What advice would you give?

My advice for future students is to get as much experience as you can. I have learned so much this summer and the experience I have gained will greatly benefit my future career. It’s so important to be able to take what we learn in classes and apply it in a setting such as an internship. Prior to this internship, I was a server at a restaurant. The skills I learned as a server has helped me so much this summer. Now as I’m gaining experience during my internship, I can already see how much it will benefit me in the next step of my career. I don’t think this ever stops. Constantly building up more experience is so important!

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