USC students make a ‘Cleanevent’ sweep at the Olympics
By Frenche Brewer, BREWER4@mailbox.sc.edu, 803-777-3691
Housekeeping and college students are hardly ever referred to in the same sentence. Yet that’s what you get when 50 students from the University of South Carolina’s department of sport and entertainment management sign up for once-in-a-lifetime learning experiences in London as Olympic Games interns for Cleanevent, the world’s leading cleaning service provider in the leisure, sports and entertainment industries.
Kate Metcalf, a senior from Atlanta, Ga., will be assisting the venue cleaning manager in the Olympic Stadium running the help desk. It’s a pretty important job.
“In preparation for the games, I am setting up the scheduling roster for all of the workers -- we have a total of 296 just for Olympic Stadium. I really hope to learn more about managing such a large number of workers,” Metcalf said. “Our supervisors are all so knowledgeable and good at what they do so I am excited to learn valuable skills that I can put into practice upon graduation.”
Metcalf and her 49 classmates are getting this opportunity thanks to Frank Roach, a USC senior instructor in the College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management. Roach built a relationship with Cleanevent during the 2012 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, when about a dozen Carolina students interned for the company and made a good impression. The students in London will earn six credit hours while working for Cleanevent. Two-thirds of the group will return to Columbia for the start of classes in mid-August, and 12 of them will remain in London for the Paralympics through September.
Steven Taylor, sport instructor, advisor and surrogate parent to all 50 students, said the goal is to show students the multiple career options in sports management.
“That’s what we try and teach them in this program. There’s more to putting on an event, whether it’s a sport event or a concert, than just the folks who are there. There are many logistics and other interesting jobs other than just running a venue that are open to our students,” Taylor said. “In London, they’ll meet different contractors from security to food service. It gives them an idea of all the different career paths available to them.”
That’s exactly what Matthew Tassello, a rising senior from Middletown, N.J., found out quickly. He’s working as a building manager for the athletes from Great Britain, and is in charge of making sure all maintenance and housekeeping problems are reported to the help desk.
“I have great bosses who know a lot about running large events, so I have been able to learn a lot from them in a very short period. I am also looking forward to touring some of the other venues and hopefully learning a little about facilities management,” he said. “I think this internship will provide me with great skill set for future jobs and will make me an overall more well-rounded individual.”
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