Summer Student-Athlete Update: Virginia Traynor

July 13, 2007

ORLANDO, Fla. (www.UCFAthletics.com) - When Marriott Vacation Club guests arrive in Orlando this summer, UCF senior Virginia Traynor (Miami, Fla./Westminster Christian HS) will be there to greet them.

Traynor, a thrower who served as a captain of the Knights' track and field team last season, is a member of the front desk staff at the local timeshare destination.

"Marriott is one of the most respected names in the hospitality industry," she said of her decision to work with the company. "We are always talking about Marriott in class - how employees can move up through the ranks and the growth within the company itself."

Traynor took the job as part of a graduation requirement for hospitality management majors that stipulates that students complete three semester-long, paid internships. Last summer, she worked in guest relations at Disney's Contemporary Resort Convention Center.

At Marriott's front desk, Traynor manages a host of duties including guest accounts and check-in and check-out. She also deals with customer relations issues that may arise during her shift.

"The front desk is really the heart of the hotel," Traynor said. "We are the bridge between the guests and the company. We have to have extensive knowledge about the property and the Orlando area in order to answer any questions that guests have."

Traynor knows the benefits of earning experience in the business. Internships have often become offers of full-time employment, but even if that doesn't occur, the work also taught her valuable lessons.

"One of the most important things I have learned is how to diffuse aggressive situations," she said. "You have to put yourself in the customers' shoes and try to meet them halfway."

In addition to her job at Marriott, Traynor has also been keeping up with her conditioning regimen to stay in shape for her final year of collegiate competition. In 2007, the Miami native posted personal-best marks in the shot put, discus and weight throw. Her toss of 50-feet, 3.25 inches in the weight throw ranks second all-time at UCF.

For the latest news and information on the Knights, tickets or apparel log on to www.ucfathletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports.