The ribbon cutting for The Scarlet Hotel on May 6 held double significance for Rebecca Ellers. Not only did the occasion mark the grand opening of the brand-new 154-room Marriott Tribute Portfolio Hotel located on Nebraska Innovation Campus, but it also served as the launch of Ellers’ career in the hospitality industry.
Ellers, front desk supervisor at The Scarlet, graduated from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln on May 14 with a degree in hospitality, restaurant, and tourism management (HRTM). During her time at Nebraska she also minored in theatre arts, and leadership and communications.
As front desk supervisor, Ellers manages a team of ten individuals. It’s her responsibility to understand and be able to facilitate the tasks required of each position in the front desk department. In advance of the opening, Ellers had to complete Marriott training, and worked on establishing standard operating procedures for her department and assisting other departments of the property. She began working at The Scarlet in January, as part of her final internship for the HRTM program.
“As The Scarlet Hotel begins to welcome guests through our doors, I am most excited to put my education into action and providing the best guest experience possible,” Ellers said. “I have studied and understand the ‘book smarts’ needed for the industry, completed multiple internships of experience, and now I can put them into play together.”
By combining classroom instruction with experiential learning, Nebraska’s HRTM program is known for meeting the needs of the industry while allowing students to tailor the program to their interests. During Ellers time as an HRTM student, she’s worked at two hotels, one bed and breakfast, and recently interned at August National Golf Club during the Masters Tournament.
“My experience in the HRTM program prepared me for my current position by encouraging me to branch out of my comfort zone with the opportunity of studying abroad, various internships, and creating connections during hands-on experience in my courses,” Ellers said.
Nebraska’s HRTM program will soon have an even more significant presence at the hotel. The College of Education and Human Sciences is actively fundraising to complete the academic space within The Scarlet, which will become the program’s new home. The space will feature state-of-the art classrooms and demonstration rooms that will allow students to deepen their understanding of the commitment to service excellence required in the hospitality industry. A learning kitchen will also support the teaching of expanded culinary offerings for those studying the food and beverage facet of the industry.
Ellers is confident that the program’s move to The Scarlet will further enhance its strong reputation.
“The Scarlet Hotel brings a unique opportunity for college students to have a front row seat to see how a high-end boutique hotel is run,” she said. “There is over 78 years of hospitality knowledge between the general manager, director of sales and marketing, director of food and beverage, and the executive chef. The students can gain knowledge from each senior leader with various backgrounds without having to leave Lincoln, Nebraska!”
Learn more about the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program and how to support its future.