How Christen Keldo Secured His Dream Job with Marriott’s Voyage Program

CHRISTEN KELDO '18
New Britain, Connecticut

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MAJOR
Culinary Arts and Food Service Management
Minor: Sommelier

Learning New Skills at DeWolfe Tavern
Christen began his path toward Marriott with a sophomore year internship at DeWolfe Tavern in Bristol, RI. While there he worked various stations including garde manger, pastry, saute/grill, and his favorite, the charcoal-heated tandoori oven. The contemporary Indian-focused cuisine helped drive his curiosity and stretch and strengthen his skills bringing him out of his comfort zone.

At the DeWolfe, he was allowed to try new ideas and learn from them, even when they weren’t successful. He also gained valuable skills in communication and time management. Christen’s advice to students is to strive for consistency.

Becoming Seasoned at Duck & Bunny
Following the DeWolfe internship, Christen returned to his studies at JWU. He also began working at the Duck & Bunny, where he was promoted to assistant kitchen manager under the leadership of Erik Anderson.

"My entire college experience at JWU helped shape my journey + success."

“My internship dramatically influenced me in having the ability to train and work as an assistant kitchen manager and to pursue the Marriott Voyage program,” noted Christen.

When reached for permission, Duck & Bunny owner Daniel Becker stated that the restaurant was sorry to lose Christen, but was proud and excited as he took the next steps on his journey.

The Path to the Marriott Voyage Program
JWU Experiential Education & Career Services (EE&CS) let Christen know about the opportunity to apply for the Marriott Voyage Program. He prepared with a career advisor by practicing through mock interviews and understanding Marriott’s intensive interview process, which included a skills assessment.

Once chosen as a final candidate, he consulted with family and friends to choose just the right suit and business cards. His final interview consisted of a mystery basket competition. He worked calmly and with a clear mind as he competed for a job offer — which he secured!

"Utilize Career Services. The mock interview was very important to instilling confidence."

After accepting Marriott’s offer, Christen returned to EE&CS to share the good news: “My entire college experience at JWU — including my internship and additional work experience — helped to shape my journey and success to this point. I can’t wait to utilize these skills in my future with Marriott!”

“Utilize Career Services. The mock interview was very important to instilling confidence. They put me in touch with other JWU Voyage graduates and were available to answer my questions throughout the process. I hope more students realize how helpful EE&CS is after reading this.”