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Sound Out The Old Year and Sound In the New

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

Chinese New Year is an important festival celebrated on the first day of the Chinese calendar, February 8th. Millions of Asian Americans will ring in the New Year with reunion dinners, dumplings, fireworks and lion dances.

The two main reasons for the festival are to celebrate a year of hard work by feasting with family and to wish luck and prosperity in the coming year. Much like in the Western culture, Chinese New Year serves as a remembrance of the passing year, yet it brings some unique traditions and superstitions.   

How to celebrate Chinese New Year

With more than 18 million people scattered throughout the country who may observe the “Lunar New Year”, you'll find major celebrations with parades and festivities in nearly every major city in the U.S.

Certain foods are considered lucky because of their symbolic meanings and are consumed during the festival.   Eating fish, which in Chinese sounds like the word surplus, is believed to bring an excess of money and good luck.  

Tangerines or Mandarin oranges are traditionally present during celebrations for their symbol of good fortune.  They are displayed as decoration or presented as gifts to friends, relatives and business owners.

Giving red envelopes filled with money to unmarried children in their family is a custom at Chinese New Year, representing good fortune. Chinese employers will also present them to their employees as a year-end bonus and to their customers to thank them for their business. You will also see red envelopes being fed to the lion's mouth which eliminates negative energy and brings good luck for the year.   

There are also certain customs and superstitions that many Chinese adhere to during the start the new year.

2016 – A Year of the Monkey

In Chinese astrology, each year is associated with a Chinese zodiac animal sign. February 8th, 2016 through January 27th, 2017 marks the Year of the Monkey and those born during Monkey years can learn about their lucky charms below.

Some things like career success cannot rely on luck alone. Monkeys are said to have prosperous careers in 2016 if they keep their focus and discipline.

No matter what year you were born, we hope the year of the Monkey brings you good fortune, health, happiness, peace and prosperity!

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Former NSMH Members Turned Sodexo Employees Love THIS About Their Jobs

By Autumn Anderson, Employment Brand Sourcing Manager

It’s that time again! The National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) National Conference starts TODAY, and we couldn’t be more excited.

As a proud sponsor of this conference year after year, the Sodexo team will be suited up and ready to meet up-and-coming stars in the hospitality industry. In the past three years, we’ve been making on-the-spot job offers and have hired over 60 NSMH students for our food service and environmental services roles.

So why is this partnership with NSMH such a big deal? For one, the students in the organization have what it takes to be successful in a Sodexo management career. Things like drive, dependability and passion make them good fits for our jobs that require the ability to take initiative and get things done, while also maintaining a focus on providing quality of life for customers and clients. This is also the perfect opportunity for our recruiters and operators to connect face-to-face with a diverse group of students from top hospitality programs across the country.

If you’re a member who’s heading to DC this week, take a quick peek below to meet three of our very own former NSMH students turned Sodexo recruiters who share why you could be a good fit for the company and what they love about their jobs! 

Derren Thompson, Sr. Recruiter
NSMH Member 1992-1995
"NSMH students are good fits for Sodexo because they are prepared to lead, to ask critical questions and - most of all - assist in the development of new ways of doing things. They are prepared to be different and prepared to work long hours because they want to grow. They do not have a problem putting in the time if they see that it will go somewhere in the future, as it can at Sodexo.”

Amanda St. John, Sr. Recruiter
NSMH Member 2000-2003
"What I love about my job is the sense of pride that comes from being a part of a company that is the leader in our industry and one of the largest globally. I feel valued, respected and know that if I am interested in exploring growth opportunities - with a little work and preparation - the options are almost endless for upward mobility or even lateral growth. In a company as large and diversified as Sodexo, a lateral move can result in tremendous growth potential.”

Coral Zelachowski, Sr. Recruiter
NSMH Member 2003-2004

“NSMH members are a good fit for Sodexo because of our mutual commitment to diversity. Both organizations continue to shape the future of the hospitality industry through continuous improvement.”


Interested in learning more about Sodexo career opportunities or asking questions to the recruiters featured above? Stop by our Hospitality Booth on Friday, February 5 from 8:30 – 10:30 p.m. to chat with our team!

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Nadia Sings Her Praises For Sodexo Careers

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition



“Hello, it’s me!


I’ve been wondering if after all these years you’d like to re-meet me!”

Last month Nadia made her comeback to walk you through the search and apply process at Sodexo.  As a newly employed Sodexo Housekeeping Manager, Nadia has been going through the onboarding process and learning a ton!

For example, starting day one Nadia got acquainted to the business and connected with other managers through enrollment in Sodexo’s award-winning Come Alive program. With both virtual and classroom learning all year long, Nadia will be prepared with the skills and tools needed to drive her long-term success and growth.

Nadia also scheduled her two-week technical training, where she’ll learn innovative ways in which Sodexo enhances the patient experience.   She’ll be assigned to a Sodexo training account and mentored by a team of experienced Sodexo Housekeeping Managers.  Amazed by this large network, including highly specialized experts in Infection Control, Supply Management, HAZMAT and Sustainability, Nadia knew that she would never feel alone as a new manager.

The checklist of training items has Nadia elated! She had no idea how many different types of floor machines, equipment and supplies she’ll be using to perform housekeeping duties such as cleaning the Operating Room and Patient Rooms.

She’ll also learn the Unit Operating System, Infection Prevention, Gold Check and SHINE by Sodexo (a UV light inspection program) as well as how Sodexo meets cleaning standards by performing quality assurance and black light inspections on the TRAKKAR system.

Even though Nadia’s journey as a Housekeeping Manager is just beginning at Sodexo, it’s clear how important her role will be to ensure the environment is safe and comfortable for patients, staff and visitors.

Say hello from the outside to Nadia and watch her help her friend Jason through our hiring process in Part two of this video series. 

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The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

By Guest Blogger Debbi Oryszak, Senior Recruiter – Corporate Services

This post is part of our Recruiter Series featuring specific environments we hire for and what opportunities they have in store for you!

As a seasoned recruiter for Sodexo, I’ve talked with thousands of applicants about our hiring process. Although each Sodexo position is unique to its location and a candidates’ reason for seeking a job may differ, there are several questions that I’m asked quite often.

If you have an interest in joining Sodexo or are just exploring the possibility, these questions have or will occur to you.

“How long does it take to get hired?”

Tom Petty songs the truth; the waiting IS the hardest part!  

It’s not because we want to keep you on the edge of your seat, it’s because the process takes time.  Sodexo receives around 20,000 applications a month and as Recruiters we review every resume to determine the best match for each role. For this reason, the screening process can take several days.

It’s not because we want to keep you on the edge of your seat, it’s because the process takes time.  Sodexo receives around 20,000 applications a month and as Recruiters we personally review every resume to determine the best match for each role. For this reason, the screening process can take several days.

During the initial phone screen call, I will review the specific timeline for the job with you. I’ll tell you when I expect to have all the phone screens completed and when I will present the slate of candidates to the hiring manager. From there, a few more days are needed for the hiring manager to select candidates and schedule the interviews. I always tell my candidates that if they are selected for an interview, they will be contacted directly by the hiring manager.

Many qualified candidates apply to our jobs, so the key is to write a resume that leads to successful interviews

“If I’m not hired for this job, will I be considered for anything else?”

Many of my hires were considered for more than one position before being selected for their current role.   Recruiting is about building a relationship so you can expect to hear back from me about live hiring events or if anything else becomes available in your area.

I recruit nationwide mainly for Food Service Management positions in our Leisure, Aviation and Vending business segments.  The Leisure segment represents accounts that are popular event sites or destination venues like Zoos, Aquariums, Museums, Casinos and Conference Centers. The Aviation segment represents private airline clubs and lounges across the US.   

Since there could be similar positions open in different environments like Healthcare or Education, I’m not stingy and regularly share great candidates with other Sodexo Recruiters.
And lastly, I recommend joining our talent community to stay abreast of company news, connect with other Sodexo Managers and to help you determine if you are a good fit for our culture.

“How long have you been with Sodexo?” 

At the end of each phone screen I ask candidates if they have any questions about the job or Sodexo in general. Often times, candidates drive the conversation with killer interview questions but this one gets asked the most.

I proudly respond that I’ve worked at Sodexo for more than 30 years. I have been blessed with the opportunity to grow my career from a part-time corporate café employee up through operational roles to General Manager. Through those roles I found my true passion in Human Resources. I was able to transition through roles like training, recruiting and employee relations to find the one I hold today. Aside from the vast library of online training courses, I was able to develop myself and gain further HR knowledge outside the company through tuition assistance.

There were many times in my career where I learned how hard waiting can be, but I never let it get me down or frustrated. Instead, I practiced patience and perseverance.   

I invite you to continue the conversation to pass the time by leaving me a comment below or connecting with me on Twitter or LinkedIn.  I will also be attending the NSMH 2016 National Conference this week!

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Sodexo Hospitality Careers often Begin with our Strategic NSMH Partnership

This article first appeared in the January Issue of C@reer Connections, Sodexo's monthly e-newsletter. Sign up today!

By Padma Durvasula, Executive Recruiter

For the past 27 years, the National Society for Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH) has been dedicated to developing students into tomorrow’s leaders in the hospitality industry. Accordingly, Sodexo has been a long-time supporter of this organization by actively participating and hiring NSMH students into roles where they can develop and grow their careers as future leaders.

In fact, just in the last three years, Sodexo has hired more than 60 NSMH members into various capacities such as internships, entry level management positions as well as hourly staff. With the NSMH 2016 National Conference coming up Feb. 4-7, 2016 in Washington DC, I had the pleasure to meet with two managers who joined Sodexo more than 10 years ago as a result of their activities with NSMH: Kwasi M. McManus, Area General Manager and Adrienne Newell, General Manager.

During my conversation with them, it came to my attention that while their backgrounds, career paths and interests were different, the common platform that introduced them to Sodexo was the NSMH National Conference!
 What attracted you to Sodexo?

Kwasi M. McManus
Sodexo Area General Manager

McManus: During my senior year of college, I noticed a Sodexo banner that highlighted the “Quality of Life.” messaging. This caught my attention immediately because while I always knew that I wanted to be in the hospitality industry, I also wanted a work-life balance approach.

Newell: During my interaction with the recruiters at the NSMH national conference booth, I was amazed at the growth opportunities that Sodexo had to offer – and the number of professional development opportunities that would help me grow my career. That meant a lot to me at the early stage in my career.

How has Sodexo helped shape your career?

McManus: I joined Sodexo as an intern 10 years ago. During the course of my career at Sodexo, I worked in various divisions and in various roles. I began my career in Corporate Services and moved into the Healthcare division as my career grew from a Retail Manager to Production Manager, Patient Service Manager, Operations Manager and now Area General Manager. All of these promotional opportunities occurred in the span of 10 years. While Quality of Life is a great motivation, Sodexo also has many mentoring programs that allow you to further expand your leadership role and grow your career.

Adrienne Newell
Sodexo General Manager
Newell: I joined Sodexo as an hourly employee. I was quickly promoted to a Catering Manager at one of our showcase accounts and since then have been promoted into various management roles such as Retail Manager, Operations Manager and General Manager. During this journey, I realized that the opportunities are plenty as long as you are willing to work hard and seize them! Besides just the career, Sodexo has so many employee network groups as well that help us network with other leaders in the organization – allowing you to find a mentor or make other connections that help you advance your skills, experience and ultimately your career.

Do you have any words of advice for NSMH students as they embark on their own career journey?

McManus: Today as a manager, I am actively involved at the national conference in hiring NSMH members into Sodexo. However, as a student I was never a very active member until I was a senior. I urge all students to be more involved and network with industry leaders that you meet face to face through NSMH and at the conference. This is a rare opportunity and you must take advantage of it!

Newell: Be prepared with many questions as you meet with these experienced leaders at the conference. Follow your passion as that will guide your career path! But also, remember that your career path can be varied, starting in many different places. Reaching your desired destination is possible at Sodexo where you can grow your career in any direction you choose.

Are you attending the 2016 NSMH National Conference? Tell us about yourself here and a recruiter will be in touch to discuss our career opportunities and the networking schedule for NSMH. Sodexo will host a hospitality suite, participate in workshops and conduct on-site interviews. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Sodexo Facilities Managers Don’t Stop Building a Better Future!

By Trish Freshwater, Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition

Facilities Managers are often the on-site experts about every nook and cranny of the buildings and grounds they oversee. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a new landscape design or a plan to better manage the building infrastructure, Facilities Managers are usually the go-to person to find the necessary solutions.

At Sodexo, we rely on our Facilities Managers for their technical expertise and ability to build a better future.  In the US, Sodexo manages more than $1 billion in facilities and engineering services that help people live better in the workplace, cities, schools and hospitals.
Chris Button, Sr. Project Manager for Construction
Hobart & William Smith Colleges

Chris Button, Senior Project Manager for Construction at Hobart & William Smith Colleges lends a great example of how he created a vision for his team to be a part.

“Before we open these drawings I want to share what we’re building.  A beautiful center that will change Hobart and William Smith Colleges for the next two hundred plus years.  A Performing Arts building that will unify music, dance, theater, centered around a common lobby.  It’s going to have a beautiful brick, earth colored mortar, steep roofs and natural slate; things that we don’t typically build anymore.  And I want you to be a part of that. We’re going to build this together!”

Integrated services that make all the difference

Sodexo’s Facilities Managers know that by providing integrated services that their role is pivotal to the client’s success.

Whether they are focused on technical maintenance services, ensuring that equipment such as air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems are working properly and identifying any issues that need attention or providing advice on the best time to replace equipment or proposing an Asset Management strategy, our Facilities Managers offer an approach that identifies opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings, and minimizes the cost of ownership while enhancing investments and extending their operating life.

A recent survey of our Sodexo Facilities Managers revealed how they make a difference on a daily basis for the people they serve, with control and autonomy to run their account and train their employees on safety and occupational health. Not only do they take care of the client, they take pride in what they do!

Growing Facilities Management Careers

Facilities Management continues to evolve as more and more responsibilities are being placed upon facility management professionals.  They must be proficient in project management and financial accounting systems, and have technical design knowledge of mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.  

As your career level increases, so does the need to have a balance of these business savvy and technical skills.  At Sodexo, we offer an environment where the work is challenging, yet meaningful, with continuous training opportunities to grow your career.

Alan Woods, Operations Manager for Facilities
Alan Woods, Operations Manager for Facilities at Unilever expressed how important training and education is at Sodexo. 

“I’m currently working on my doctorate in Human Organization Psychology.  I’ve gotten 100% support from the Sodexo management team to continue my studies.  If we don’t continue to train and develop our staff then we’re not going to grow… we’re not going to learn.  And I want to be part of that.  I want to get involved in training and development as I move further into my career.”

Want to learn more? Read these stories from Sodexo Facilities Managers and learn how they’ve had an impact in their roles while growing their own careers. 

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Sodexo To Celebrate Pride In Food Service Week

By Chloé Rada, Senior Marketing Manager - Talent Acquisition

February 1st through 5th is Pride in Food Service Week, where we’ll celebrate the nation’s elite nutrition and food service managers and recognize their commitment to excellence in dietary management.

At Sodexo, their role goes beyond simply feeding patients, students and consumers. Without their knowledge of developing menus that adhere to dietary restrictions and preferences, a better healing, learning or working environment would not be possible. 

A recent interview with Cherylyn Gifford, Patient Services Manager, revealed how her clinical knowledge has positively impacted the patient meal program at Nebraska Medical Center.  As a Licensed Medical Nutrition Therapist and Registered Dietitian, Cherylyn loves doing anything that helps patients nutritionally.

“The biggest contribution that I’ve made to this organization is creating a tool for nurses to help them manage mealtime insulin for patients with diabetes.  The thing they didn’t know was how many grams of carbohydrates were in the meals.  Therefore, dosing insulin was being done incorrectly. The tool, accessible from the hospital intranet, links back to Sodexo’s Food Service recipes and provides the exact number of carbs.”

Since implementing the tool, CheryIyn shared that it really helped the hospital staff manage the meal-associated medications generally and specifically for her diabetic patients.

At the Medical University of South Carolina, Chef Laurene Cunningham leads a meal program that nourishes pediatric patients called “Chef and Child.”   As a part of the Nutrition Services Department, she calls upon her training as a Certified Dietary Manager and Certified Food Protection Professional to supervise production for patient meal service and excel in dietary management.    
Sodexo Chef Laurene Cunningham - MUSC 
The “Chef and Child” program helps children who have been at MUSC for an extended stay and are not eating well participate in making food that they will enjoy eating. Chef Cunningham has helped to create kid-friendly menu items that are nutritious and delicious and provide a hands-on experience for the patient that encourages better eating and fosters a relationship with both the child and the parents.

While the trend to hire nutrition experts into food service roles is on the rise, it’s nothing new for Sodexo. Both Certified Dietary Managers and Registered Dietitians can find remarkable careers in Food Service in a healthcare setting, assessing patient needs and providing diet education.

“Being a Certified Dietary Manager brings great value and can open doors for advancement at Sodexo,” says Suzanne Thompson, Recruitment Manager. “The expanded depth of knowledge that comes with the CDM credential qualifies these professionals in administrating menus, food purchasing, and food preparation and safety as well as providing dietary direction to the food and nutrition teams.”

If you want to apply your nutrition skills like Cherylyn or Chef Cunningham, then check out these great Food Service opportunities with Sodexo.

Happy Pride in Food Service week!

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