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‘Signing out!’ A letter from a former Intern

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South Bend’s Hospitality Analyst Intern recently said goodbye by sending an email to the people he worked with this summer. In his final message, he thanked those who helped him and said some wonderful about Holladay that we thought should be shared with everyone. We love hearing what people think about working for and with Holladay and we hope you enjoy what Doug had to say, too.


As I depart, I wanted to share a few final thoughts.

I have been asked the reoccurring question, “Did you learn a lot?”

The short answer is, yes. What I thought I was going to learn starting out and what I actually learned, are completely different — and that’s a good thing!

On my first day at Holladay, my experience was gold. I was hit with tons of greetings and smiles. One thing that I heard a lot of was, “this is a great place; you won’t want to leave!”. Well, that is the truth. I don’t want to leave.

On my second day, I was on a plane to Indy with John and Jeff to visit our newest hotel. Coming from an intern, the second day was pretty cool!

Weeks to follow, I was given the chance to be involved in the renovations of the Inn at Saint Mary’s — my largest project. I worked closely with Manette and Lauren, as well as, Dan Henry, Kaine, and Steve. All were a great help and very friendly to me as I was learning. Thank you.

I also worked with Cassie on a wedding venue analysis. She was such a big help and never once did she complain. Thank you, Cassie!

During my time here I’ve worked on miscellaneous projects, mostly analyzing information and coming up with the best way to do things. Jim Laskowski told me a few words that continue to stick with me. They are, “Here at Holladay, we’ll give you enough rope to hang yourself, but don’t do it!” That’s so true. The stereotype “interns always get the dirty work”, does not exist here at Holladay. Everything that I’ve worked on has been real life material and stuff that will benefit my future. I’ve learned so many lessons — far too many to list.

Aaron, Paul, Amanda, and Maureen: thank you for inviting me into your working environment. It’s always weird having someone new walk the halls, but you welcomed me in and made my experience even better.

Chris, thank you for the IT help this summer!

Accounting, I’m going to put my face up next to Jim’s so that you’ll never forget me! Ha!

I probably wouldn’t have even been in the position I am today if it weren’t for, Jeff Arthur. Jeff, you invested so much time into me, bringing me in as a representation of you. You have introduced me to so many great things and have told me endless lessons. Thank you for setting time aside this summer to bring me in as your intern and thank you for believing in me. Working with you has been a privilege.

John, you gave me a chance to be a part of Holladay. Since I announced that I would be a Holladay employee, so many people have told me how great of an organization we are. You have kept me on my toes and gave me so many chances to lead my own path. A lot of projects assigned by you were given to me with little direction, giving me a chance to really work hard and give it my all. Thank you for trusting me. Your leadership style will be one that I will strive to acquire.

For you that are saying to yourself, “well this is nice, but who the heck is Doug?”. I am Jeff Arthur’s Intern and a senior at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I will be graduating next May with my bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management. Just a little background. J

In closing, thank you, all, for giving me the best experience possible. Without the group effort from everyone, Holladay would not be the place it is today. It is clear that everyone is invested in this place — I am too.

I hope that I will be back! Anyone would be nuts not to hope for that. This is a great place filled with intelligent, devoted employees.

See you on the flip side!


Douglas R. Kessler, Hospitality Analyst

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