Stephen F. Austin State University

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SFA hospitality students working at Super Bowl

February 2, 2011 - Allison Percival
Phillip Mitchell

Every college student fantasizes about landing their dream job after graduation; however, for a couple of SFA students, that dream is already becoming a reality.

Hospitality majors Shayna Borhaug of Lake Dallas and Cordero Chavira of Jacksonville have both scored their first jobs in the industry helping coordinate this year's Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.

Borhaug is working for Dallas Fan Fares, a global event coordinating company that also is the official corporate hospitality group for the NFL. She will be stationed at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, NFL's official hotel, and will be helping give two of Fan Fares' special clients the ultimate Super Bowl experience.

She said besides attending the big game, the clients have chosen to spend some time golfing, relaxing at a spa and dining at various Dallas restaurants.

"Their happiness is my ultimate goal, and I and the rest of the staff of Dallas Fan Fares have been working around the clock all day every day to ensure this," Borhaug said.

Borhaug said she started her career by interning at Dallas Fan Fares in the summer of 2010. A friend of her mother's worked for the company, and, because it sounded interesting, Borhaug applied for an interview, which led to her internship.

"Without the experience of my event-planning and customer-service classes at SFA, I could easily find myself lost in this environment," Borhaug said. "But because I have this knowledge, I am confident, and my company is confident in me, as well."

Borhaug will graduate in December 2011 and go to work full time for Dallas Fan Fares.

Chavira will be volunteering at the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport as a concierge and will be giving Super Bowl attendees "the skinny" on all of North Texas' hotels, VIP parties and tourist areas.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be able to say I helped out at the Super Bowl," Chavira said. "I want to gain as much experience as possible and enjoy the moment."

Chavira applied online after first hearing about the opportunity from Dr. Carl Pfaffenberg, associate professor of human sciences, in August. He will be one of the more than 10,000 volunteers helping Super Bowl Sunday run smoothly.

"I was told to expect anywhere up to 100 private jets and several commercial lines filled with Super Bowl attendees," Chavira said. "I had to do a lot of the searching for a hotel since nearly all of them have been booked for months."

Gaining work experience, meeting new people and taking hundreds of pictures are only a few items on Chavira's to-do list for the Super Bowl. He's hoping to get his name out there and acquire more knowledge to open his own chain of hotels after graduation in May 2012.

"I want to turn the hotel industry around, and, hopefully, from this experience I can make that happen," said Chavira.

While these two students are just getting started in the corporate world, 2010 hospitality graduate Phillip Mitchell is already working in the industry.

Mitchell is working for Legends Hospitality in Dallas and will be providing meals to both the Pittsburg Steelers and Green Bay Packers players before the game. He also will be serving food to the media and broadcast companies who will be working inside the stadium. He said he will be in charge of taking care of nearly 500 people.

"I'm very excited that the game is finally here," Mitchell said. "I'll get to actually watch the game while I'm working with the media."

Mitchell originally was an intern for Legends Hospitality in June before he graduated in August. After he received his diploma, he was offered a full-time position. On a day-to-day basis, he works with the Dallas Cowboys and cheerleaders, coordinating everything from communicating with the press to working in the locker rooms.

Mitchell said all of his classes helped prepare him for his first job, and he's continuously referencing the knowledge he gained as a student at SFA.

"If it weren't for my classes and professors at SFA, I wouldn't be where I am now," Mitchell said. "Being able to intern before graduation also gave me some experience to understand what I was in for."