Major: Hospitality Management
Jamie Fredericks wanted to stay close to home after graduating from Glenbard North High School and was impressed by the quality of the Hospitality Management program at College of DuPage.
“I like meeting people on a constant basis and providing hospitality,” she said. “The program was a good fit for my interests.”
She started classes at the same time she landed a job at the new Courtyard by Marriott in St. Charles, where she remained after earning her associate degree and three certificates and graduating with honors.
After spending 12 years with Marriott, Fredericks was ready for a new challenge and returned to her alma mater running the Inn at Water’s Edge when it opened in 2011. The six-room boutique hotel is part of the Culinary & Hospitality Center located on campus in Glen Ellyn. The inn also doubles as a learning lab for students in the Culinary and Hospitality Management program, the same program from which Fredericks graduated.
“I always kept in touch with Professor Mary Beth Leone,” Fredericks said. “When she told me about the opening, I thought, ‘Wow! This is a perfect fit.’ ”
In her role at the Inn at Water’s Edge, Fredericks addressed the operations of the hotel and trained hundreds of students, who are required to complete a 120-hour internal co-op that consists of 60 hours at the front desk and 60 hours in housekeeping.
“Mary Beth gave me a sense of the hotel career that would best suit me,” she said. “I then became that person for students. I was in their shoes, so I understood how they felt.”
Fredericks is now back at Marriott as a sales executive, representing the Courtyard by Marriott Naperville and the TownePlace Suites by Marriott Lombard.
“I found it was the perfect time to rejoin the hospitality industry in a sales role while hotels are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “Occupancy levels are increasing and we are starting to see travelers return after almost two years! Having worked for Marriott International 10 years prior, it’s wonderful to be back and working with so many colleagues I stayed connected with. In fact, one of my general managers and I worked together almost 20 years ago.”
Having completed her master’s degree in Hospitality from Johnson & Wales University, Fredericks continues to look for educational opportunities like the ones she initially found at COD.
“I believe you should never stop learning and evolving, creating a better version of yourself along the way.”