University of Wisconsin-Stout senior Megan Nimsgern does not want what happens in Las Vegas to stay in Vegas; she wants people to know it’s a great place to visit.
The business administration major is a brand marketing intern at MGM Resorts International as part of the company’s Hospitality Internship Program. Getting the word out about the company and everything Las Vegas has to offer is part of her internship.
Nimsgern, of Menomonie, works on the company’s website so travelers know what attractions and resorts are in Vegas and locals know about things to do in their Sin City.
MGM Resorts International owns some of the best-known properties in Las Vegas, including the Bellagio, famous for its fountains; the pyramid-shaped Luxor, with its light beamed into the sky; MGM Grand, the largest hotel in U.S. with more than 6,000 rooms; New York-New York, with its Statue of Liberty; the Medieval-themed Excalibur; Circus Circus; Mandalay Bay; and the Mirage, with the largest free-standing marquee in the world.
Nimsgern was one of 40 interns picked out of 1,200 applicants. “I was looking online for a marketing internship,” Nimsgern said. “I wanted to experience something different.”
That’s exactly what Nimsgern found. “It’s been so different from anything I would have experienced in the Midwest,” she noted. “The city never sleeps. It’s interesting to see how you market for a company that never sleeps.”
Each day Nimsgern has to put up ads on the marquees at the resorts that are seen by hundreds of thousands of people. She also writes articles for the website on new restaurant openings, activities and things to do at the resorts.
One of the most recent restaurant openings she wrote about was the new Hello Kitty Café at MGM Park.
She enjoys working in a vacation destiny. “Everyone is happy,” she noted. “They are on vacation. You almost feel like you’re on vacation. It’s so much fun.”
Mark Fenton, business administration degree program director and professor of international business and management, said Nimsgern is outgoing, a classroom leader and an excellent student always willing to help others.
Internships give students professional experience, Fenton said. “Some students will do some job rotation while others will do something similar the entire time,” he noted. “The students are also getting paid while on a co-op. I think they learn a little more about personal finance at the same time. They might not be making a true professional salary, but there is a good chance many of the co-op students have not made a similar or higher hourly rate in the past.”
Co-ops require a minimum of 320 hours, or about eight weeks of full-time work.
“It seems like most students will do at least 400 hours. The internships are also character builders, and they help students with building confidence when they are preparing to graduate. Many will even have full-time career positions waiting for them when they do graduate. It is a nice feeling to be in your senior year with a job offer in hand,” Fenton said.
Bill Kryshak, UW-Stout associate professor of business, said Nimsgern is personable, has a great work ethic and is an excellent student.
“I am sure that when asked a question in the interview Megan looked directly at the person and did not hesitate to answer to the best of her ability,” Kryshak said. “Communication skills are stressed in the business major at Stout, whether you are talking one on one or in front of a large audience, and Megan is very comfortable with either. Combine that with her outstanding analytical skills, her ability to research on her own and the fact that she is just an extremely nice young professional and this, in my opinion, is what allowed her to stand out.”
At Menomonie High School, Nimsgern joined DECA her junior year and started competing in hospitality marketing because no one else wanted to. She enjoyed it and had success winning competitions. She also started a charity event called Mr. Menomonie. High school boys compete in a talent and question show to raise money for charities of their choice. The competition continues at the high school.
Nimsgern started her paid internship June 3, and it continues until Friday, Aug. 9. She plans to apply for the manager/associate program with MGM Resorts International, which is a one-year full-time salaried program that accelerates participants to a managerial position. If accepted she would start after graduating from UW-Stout in May.
“MGM is so good about wanting to teach us, but at the same time they are treating us like we are real employees,” Nimsgern said.
Growing up in Menomonie, Nimsgern wanted to stay in a small town and knew UW-Stout was the right fit for her. “Look what UW-Stout helped me do,” she said. “I’m out here with Ivy League school kids, and I have the same abilities they do. It just solidifies what Stout taught me. When you are in school you don’t realize how much you are learning applies to the workforce.”
She also credits the university Career Conference for helping her succeed. “Hands down it got me ready for being in a professional setting and being able to talk professionally,” she noted.
UW-Stout has career fairs twice a year, in the fall and spring. The Fall Career Conference is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, and Wednesday, Sept. 25, at the Sports and Fitness Center.
Nimsgern with the iconic lion at the MGM Grand lobby. She is one of 40 interns picked out of 1,200 applicants working at MGM Resorts this summer.
Nimsgern at the Hello Kitty Cafe in MGM Park. As an intern, she wrote about the restaurant opening.