Alumni Spotlight: Lindsey O’Neil (‘10)
It’s no secret that the secret to success is hard work, dedication, and perseverance. College prepares students to be successful in whatever field they’re interested in, but it’s up to the students to really take advantage of the help offered to them and, sometimes, things really do work out as planned.
Lindsey O’Neil (‘10) first began working at Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen as a hostess when she was 16. She continued to work throughout high school and while she was taking her prerequisite classes at Scottsdale Community College (SCC).
(Photo caption) Just finished butchering 40 pounds of Salmon at Pappadaeux!
“I quickly rose through the ranks as server, to-go server, headwaiter, trainer, and bartender,” she explains. “One of my managers Tammy Ledyard (‘01), SHRM National Advisory Board Member, encouraged my growth and recommended I go to NAU for hotel and restaurant management as that was the path she took.”
O'Neil applied and was accepted in the 2NAU Joint Admission Program and worked hard. She took courses through SCC as well as online to accommodate her busy schedule while raising two kids at the same time.
A week after she earned her HRM degree, she was promoted to restaurant manager of Pappadeaux.
“Working in restaurants your entire adult life gives you tremendous experience that no schools can really provide, but NAU definitely gave me the education and skills I needed to succeed and make me the well-rounded manager I am today,” she says.
Looking to the Future
O’Neil stayed in her management role at Pappadeaux for three years, working in both front and back of house.
“Then I decided that, after a total of 11 years, I wanted to further my progress as a manager elsewhere,” she says. “The first place I applied to was the White Chocolate Grill in Scottsdale, and they wanted me immediately!”
Now two years after coming on board the contemporary American restaurant’s team, she manages front of house operations, front of house schedules, banquets, and various orders. This most likely isn’t the end of the road for her either. With a chef for a husband and plenty of inspiration between the two of them, they hope to open up a restaurant of their own someday.
All it will take is a little bit of hard work, dedication, and perseverance.
Categories: lindsey o’neil alumni fall 2015 alumni spotlight 2015 pappadeaux seafood kitchen tammy ledyard 2nau joint admission program white chocolate grill scc scottsdale community college national advisory board