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September 2015

An International Success: Alumna credits career achievements to a learn-by-doing education


In 2013, Ashley Sanders Lerner finished her senior year as a front desk supervisor at the Kellogg West Conference Center and Lodge. She was ready for bigger, better things once she graduated.


“It was time to live my dreams,” Sanders Lerner says. “I packed up everything and moved to Israel.”


After three interviews, she was selected for a guest relations position at a brand new property, the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. The hotel opened in April 2014 and Sanders Lerner was a member of its grand opening staff. She witnessed changes and contributed to building a successful team across all departments for what she says is an unbelievable and priceless experience.


The alumna was recognized for her hard work and dedication with the 2014 award for Outstanding Team Member of the Year. She credits her success to her experiences as a Collins College student and is appreciative of Cal Poly Pomona’s learn-by-doing philosophy. She feels it gave her a huge advantage because she was ready to take on any challenge or project, even in a foreign country.


“I remembered and was thankful for all the hands-on classwork, especially the restaurant series for teaching me time management, prioritizing, and how to manage a team,” says Sanders Lerner.

She enjoys working in the Middle East because of the international need for hospitality.


“I love the fact that I can affect guests’ travel experiences,” she says. “It was important to me that people visiting from around the world have a good time at the property and throughout the country.”


According to Sanders Lerner, the hotel staff speaks multiple languages and is multinational. This made her transition a bit easier while trying to assimilate and learn Hebrew, the language of the land. She feels her transition was the ultimate confidence builder.


Sanders Lerner encourages all recent and future graduates to follow their dreams, no matter where they are in the world.


Wing Lam addressing the crowd
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