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15 Students Learning, Working at Iconic Maryland Shore Restaurants

A record 15 Pennsylvania College of Technology students were hired by Phillips Seafood to serve internships in the iconic Maryland company’s Ocean City establishments this summer.

Phillips has hired an increasing number of students from the college’s culinary arts majors for more than eight years, but this year, with the company in need of even more summer staff, executive chef Randy Stanley made a visit to the Penn College campus to recruit.

“In my 26 years of working for Phillips, virtually every season the backbone of our back-of-house staff has been young college students from Maryland and Pennsylvania,” Stanley said. “The students from Penn College have always been among our most valued employees. They are bright, eager, polite and professional. The time of year that the students are available – mid-May to mid-August – works very well for us here in Ocean City.”

Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts and systems student Randall Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Maryland, works in the kitchen of one of Phillips Seafood’s Ocean City, Maryland, restaurants. Janowitz is completing his second internship with the company, which hired 15 interns from Penn College’s hospitality majors this summer.
Pennsylvania College of Technology culinary arts and systems student Randall Colby Janowitz, of Westminster, Maryland, works in the kitchen of one of Phillips Seafood’s Ocean City, Maryland, restaurants. Janowitz is completing his second internship with the company, which hired 15 interns from Penn College’s hospitality majors this summer.

While on campus, Stanley spoke with students in the first-year course Careers in Hospitality and conducted on-campus interviews.

Daniel A. Horst, a culinary arts and systems student from Harrisonburg, Va.
Daniel A. Horst, a culinary arts and systems student from Harrisonburg, Va.

For the first time, the company hired interns not only from the college’s culinary arts majors, but also from its hospitality management and baking and pastry arts majors. The hospitality management students are assisting at the front desk of Phillips’ Beach Plaza Hotel, while baking and pastry arts students – along with a May 2015 graduate – will help as Phillips revamps its dessert menu. Students from the college’s two culinary arts majors (an associate degree and bachelor’s degree) are interning at Phillips Crab House (the company’s original restaurant) and Phillips Seafood House. Additional students accepted summer jobs with the company “for experience only.”

Most of the students interning at Phillips this summer have completed their first year at Penn College. The summer internship is an integral part of the students’ learning, and as part of their internship contract, internship sites agree to provide opportunities for students to meet several learning objectives. In addition, students – who receive a grade for their internship – must regularly email their Penn College faculty internship coordinator, log their hours, receive two evaluations and write a report. The internship experience prepares students for their second-year sequence of classes.

Kristin E. Swartz, a hospitality management student from Middletown
Kristin E. Swartz, a hospitality management student from Middletown

“It’s been a good relationship that is growing,” said Chef Craig A. Cian, associate professor of hospitality management/culinary arts at Penn College, noting that Phillips offers an attractive opportunity for students, not only providing experience in a quality restaurant that serves thousands in its fine-dining and buffet facilities, but arranging for housing and food for the students at a discount, and rehiring past interns. One 2014 intern, for example, is serving an advanced internship in a supervisory position this summer.

Victoria R. Krauter, a baking and pastry arts student from Springfield
Victoria R. Krauter, a baking and pastry arts student from Springfield

“That gives students an incentive to do well, because there’s an opportunity for advancement at the same site,” Cian said.

Phillips has indicated it hopes to return to Penn College’s campus in Spring 2016 to help build next summer’s team. Stanley said he’d like to develop a partnership like the one that is growing at Penn College with other colleges, as well.

Like Penn College, Phillips Seafood celebrated its 100th year in 2014 and shares humble roots. While the foundation of today’s Pennsylvania College of Technology began in industrial shops in a high school basement, the Phillips seafood tradition started a century ago on Hoopers Island, Maryland, where the A.E. Phillips & Son processing plant sourced wild crabs, fish and oysters from the Chesapeake Bay.

Tyler R. Kresge, a culinary arts technology student from Clarks Summit
Tyler R. Kresge, a culinary arts technology student from Clarks Summit

It opened its first restaurant, the Ocean City Crab House where several Penn College interns are working, in 1956.

This summer, Penn College students are interning all over the U.S., as well as in Europe, from Talkeetna Lodge in Alaska, to Catania Coastal Italian Restaurant and West Shore Café, both in California, The Broadmoor and Taddeo’s Breckenridge Italian Restaurant, both in Colorado, Café Boulud in New York City, and restaurants in Montpellier, France, and Girona, Spain. In Pennsylvania, they’re at the Penn State Bakery, Eleven Contemporary Kitchen in Pittsburgh, Hartefield National Golf Club in Avondale, and hotels and conference centers throughout the state.

James E. Culp, a culinary arts technology student from NorthumberlandPhillips is one of several perennial internship sites that provide valuable hands-on learning to Penn College’s hospitality students year after year. Others include Silver Bay YMCA, a conference and family retreat center on New York’s Lake George where four students are interning this summer, Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge, Brown’s Orchards and Farm Market in Loganville, Country Cupboard in Lewisburg, and Desserts, Etc. in Hershey.

“Some of our intern candidates’ schedules require them to be placed more locally, and Le Jeune Chef Restaurant (Penn College’s casual fine-dining restaurant), has a clear and well-developed internship program that successfully transitions the students into their second-year coursework,” Cian said.

Other consistent, quality internship providers in Lycoming County include Wegmans and Aramark at Susquehanna Health.

To learn more about hospitality majors at Penn College, call 570-327-4505.

For information about Penn College, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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