Q. How long have you been with Olive Garden, and what was your first job with the brand?
A. I’ve been with Olive Garden four years. I started as a server in Pittsburg, CA, and was promoted to To Go Specialist. Later I moved to Las Vegas for family reasons and transferred to the Nellis Blvd. location, where I continued to move up the ladder. I trained to be a bartender and a trainer and then began my manager training. Now I’m working as a Lobby, Bar and Off Premises Manager at the restaurant in St. George, UT. In high school I had planned to become a cosmetologist, but I fell in love with the restaurant business. I enjoy interacting with guests and putting smiles on their faces.
Q. Why have you chosen a career with Olive Garden?
A. Olive Garden is a great fit for me. The flexible scheduling gives me time to be with my family at home and my family at work. In a short time, I have gained professional skills I can take with me throughout my life. I’ve used organizational tips I learned at work based on Olive Garden's strong structure to become more organized in my home life with my husband, Melvin III, our son, Melvin IV, 4, and our daughter, Robyn, 3. I’m also teaching my preschoolers about numbers and letters — my son can write his name already — using Olive Garden’s training approach. My favorite part of the job is training and developing people and acting as their support system while they grow and reach their potential.
Q. How has Olive Garden recognized your potential and helped you to be successful?
A. Olive Garden recognized my passion for guest service and teamwork and helped me develop strong leadership skills. Working with different Olive Garden teams has helped me become successful — we all learn from each other every day.
Q. What advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
A. To apply for a job at Olive Garden sooner! Also, that opportunity may come your way when you least expect it so be open.