Frank Pauze has the (not so) secret recipe for success in the Resort and Hospitality Management field. It’s building relationships and creating an environment for students to live, work, study, and play in a resort environment.
Frank has run a successful program for Green Mountain College in partnership with Killington Resort since 2001 and brings his history of success to Castleton as coordinator of the new Resort and Hospitality Management program.
“You’re living it, you’re breathing it, you're practicing it. Just like a doctor or nurse trains in a hospital, students are at the resort solving real problems, putting theory into practice, and completely immersed in the industry for three years,” Frank said.
Living it and breathing it has served his students well over the years with 35 alumni from the program working at Killington Resort. Two of those former students were recently added to the executive team with Amy Laramie being named director of communications, events, and special projects and Jordan Spear being named director of marketing, sales, and reservations.
Frank credits the students’ success to their work ethic and enthusiasm to learn.
“I don’t mean work ethic like showing up at work and doing the job. These students are hungry to learn, hungry to pursue their passion … They’re just enthusiastic and dialed in. I don’t know how else to explain it,” Frank said. “They found something to do that they love. It’s in their soul. It’s in their blood. They have hospitality in their heart and their work ethic is never-ending.”
A key component of the Castleton program is the newly renovated Castleton Lodge at Killington, where students will live. The lodge is located just minutes from Killington Resort and is nestled among a variety of businesses.
In addition to being a full-service residence, students who live at the lodge will have access to state-of-the-art conference space, computer lab, dining room and food service, laundry facilities, recreation areas, and a fireplace lounge. Castleton will also host a number of classrooms and faculty workspaces at the Highridge Conference Center, just five minutes away.
“The students are living on main street, seeing what’s going on. They can see the traffic patterns on busy weekends and when it’s dead,” Frank said. “By having their dorm up on the mountain, they are in the front row. They are witness not only to the changes in the weather but the changes in the resort.”
Gabriella Galati of Commack, New York, is beginning her final year of the three-year program and has been a skier and boarder for most of her life. She loves the idea of a career that allows her to be close to resorts and the career potential the program creates.
“You can go anywhere from here - literally anywhere. There are resorts all over the world. If you want to go to Africa, you can do that. This program prepares you for any resort. You don’t have to be a skier or boarder to come here,” Gabriella said. “Frank has connections all over the United States and in other countries because his students have gone off to work in these amazing places.”
The Resort and Hospitality Management program is rigorous throughout three years of academics and engaged work experience through co-ops at Killington Resort.
“You need to be a proactive person in order to get the full experience of the program. You need to immerse yourself as much as you can,” Gabriella said.
Frank said it all comes down to the partnership with Killington that helps to develop the student.
“Our partnership has an 18-year record of success in getting students prepared. This marriage of education and the industry to help college students develop their skill set is a great model,” Frank said. “Students are strong when they get out. It works, and it’s going to flourish under Castleton, and I’m happy about that.”