Madison Allan '23 Takes Service by Storm

From finding valuable teamwork lessons on the JWU Women's Tennis team to enhancing her bartender experience with mixology to gaining professional experience interning at private clubs in New York and Maryland, Madison Allen '23 has fully embraced her life at JWU. She dishes on what she's experienced in JWU's College of Hospitality Management and what's next on her plate.

What brought you to JWU?

MA: I heard about JWU through my culinary program at my high school in Chester, New Hampshire. JWU was highly recommended through alumni and teachers alike. My junior year of high school, I went to nationals for the annual Prostart culinary competition, which took place in Providence that year. JWU was one of the hosts for the competition, and we got to visit the campus. I immediately fell in love with the atmosphere and being in the city. I heard nothing but good things about JWU’s hospitality program my whole time there.

I chose the Providence Campus because it was closer to home, as well as the flagship campus. I think that being on a bigger campus and having more opportunities is what drove me to pick Providence.

What made you choose JWU's College of Hospitality Management?

MA: I have worked in restaurants since I was 15, and I loved being able to make others happy through food and service, which drove me to pick that program. Restaurants are integrated in so many facets of the hospitality industry, such as hotels, resorts and private clubs. I felt like the program covered all my bases because I didn’t know what part of the hospitality industry I wanted to go into when entering college.

Do any moments from your experience in the program stand out? Or faculty?

MA: Unfortunately with COVID, I had half of my first year, all of my sophomore year and half of my junior year online. I felt like JWU and its faculty did all they could to try and make the classes as interactive as possible, which I appreciated.

Finally stepping back on campus my junior year, one of the labs/classes I loved the most was Spirits & Mixology Management with Linda Pettine. I learn best hands-on, so this class was perfect! I am a bartender, but going over the basics in this class was a great refresher. The second half of the class was about crafting cocktails which I didn’t know a lot about. Professor Pettine was incredibly helpful and full of so much knowledge. It was one of my favorite classes I have taken so far at JWU.

"I am grateful that JWU has so many great classes which helped me thrive during my internships."
- Madison Allan, '23

And one faculty member that I would love to shout out is Matthew Samel. He's the advisor to JWU’s chapter of the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) and is on the College of Hospitality Management’s Center for Food & Beverage Management faculty. He is so supportive of all his students and makes sure they get the most out of their education at JWU. He also makes sure that students know about amazing opportunities such as scholarships, internships and connections. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the hospitality industry and private clubs. Professor Samel is a great person to have in your corner.

What were your internship opportunities like?

MA: One of the first emails I got in the 2020 fall semester from JWU CMAA was about an internship at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, New York, and I immediately applied for the posting. Unbeknownst to me, it was the eighth best golf club in the country according to Platinum Clubs of America! I knew very little about the private club industry at the time, but throughout my time there, I realized how highly regarded this club was. This was my first exposure to the private club industry, and it was a great experience.

I learned a lot about how to interact with the membership as well as learn the fine dining facets. I also learned how daily operations worked in a club. It was vastly different from restaurants which I had worked in for so long. It was a great professional stepping stone, because during that summer I realized this is what I want to do for my career.

Madison Allan '23 is photographed holding a clipboard and giving directions to other interns, all in matching red polos, at her internship site


My second internship that I just completed was the Chevy Chase Club in Chevy Chase, Maryland as a supervisor intern. I got to attend seminars and tours, delegate tasks to over 20+ staff members, plan and execute the annual employee picnic and so much more.

This was my first professional role as a supervisor/manager, so it was interesting to see how it worked on the other side. I think that it’s incredibly important to work and understand line-level work before you manage it, which I have done. I have worked in most line level jobs, such as hosting, serving, bartending, cooking and bussing.

Did you apply what you learned at JWU to your internships?

MA: Overall, I learned so much at JWU that allowed me to succeed at both of my internships. For example, a spreadsheet design class I took my freshman year at JWU helped me immensely in my internship at the Chevy Chase Club. I was in charge of RSVPs for an event the interns had to plan on Microsoft Excel, and I learned the formulas and formatting I needed in that class.

As well, a Front of the House Operations class I took prepared me for the fine dining aspects of my first internship. I knew from the get-go how to properly set a table and how to conduct fine dining service. I am grateful that JWU has so many great classes which helped me thrive during my internships.

What other opportunities have you chased at JWU?

MA: On CMAA, I have learned so much about private clubs and how they are a "hidden gem" in this industry.

Read More > > VIP Experiences Give Wildcats Entrée into Private Club Careers

I have been able to devote most of my time to CMAA by marketing internships to our student body and attending all the tours and seminars associated with the club. I am now a student executive board member and have learned some valuable lessons that I will be sure to keep with me throughout my personal and professional journey.

Madison Allan '23, center, poses with other students at a recent CCMA Conference


In my first year, I also had the pleasure of being part of the JWU women’s tennis team. I was nervous going into my first year of college, but the women on the team became my built-in family, and I know I had them to rely on if I needed advice or anything I had questions about. I learned a lot about teamwork and work ethic from the women and our coaches while being part of this amazing group. Everyone’s hard work paid off, as we were undefeated in our conference and runner-ups in the GNAC championship. I would not trade my experience for the world, as I believe that what I learned being on the team helped me in my personal and professional life.

"I have learned so much during my first three years at JWU that I feel confident in my professional journey because of it. I also love the community at the university. Everyone is so supportive of each other and everyone wants to see each other succeed."

What has been your favorite thing about JWU so far?

MA: My favorite thing about JWU so far has to be the hospitality program. Every single experience I've had in my hospitality and Food & Beverage Industry Management classes has been positive, both with students and faculty alike. I have learned so much during my first three years at JWU that I feel confident in my professional journey because of it. I also love the community at the university. Everyone is so supportive of each other and everyone wants to see each other succeed.

What would be your dream job after JWU?

MA: My dream job after JWU would be to become a manager in either food, beverage or membership services at a private club. I feel that all the opportunities at Johnson & Wales that I have taken advantage of will help me be successful at any position I end up at.

I also know the internships I have completed have allowed me to get a feel on how clubs are operated, both large and small, which I am grateful for. JWU also has a lot of connections everywhere in the industry so I know I probably will not have to look long.

Who or what inspires you, and how do you hope to inspire others after JWU?

Madison Allan '23 poses smiling in front of the Washington MonumentMA: Something that inspires me is random acts of kindness. We are all in the hospitality industry to make people happy and whenever I see random acts of kindness, I think it is so great. It costs nothing to be kind, so why don’t we spread it a little more?

Two people who inspire me as well are my parents. When it comes to my mom, she is the toughest, strongest, and most ambitious woman I know. She has always pushed me to do my best. Same with my dad. He is hard-working, ambitious, and patient. They have shaped me into the person I am today.

I hope to inspire others after JWU by speaking on my experiences at the university. I know that everyone has heard the advice to "get involved" at the school, but I could not stress the importance of this enough. I would have never had any of the opportunities I have now if it was not for joining CMAA.

Initially, I thought I would not have enough time to join a club between tennis and classes my freshman year, but I was proven wrong. They were very accommodating with schedules and if I missed a meeting, I would have an email with information and everything they talked about. It has truly been an amazing three years with this organization.

I believe that if I speak on my experiences at JWU, it will allow others to see that they should join a club and get involved on campus.


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