Story by Marianna Moore

Megan Rusniak took a job with Campus Dining Services her freshmen year because she needed to pay her own way through college.

Following graduation in May 2019, that job payed off big time. When Rusniak left Mizzou with dual degrees in business and hospitality management, she stepped into a full-time job with Marriott.

“It was really cool and I got really lucky that they still took me even though I didn’t have hotel experience,” Rusniak said.

woman in Baja shirt wraps fajita while making a silly face
Meghan Rusniak at Baja on Thursday March 07, 2019. Monique Woo/University of Missouri

“I had to take on a lot in that leadership role,” Rusniak said. “So I’ve definitely gotten more comfortable just talking to people and being a leader. I think that the help has been very helpful and I think it will help when I go into my job at Marriott because I have a lot of customer service experience.”

After applying for a voyager leadership development program through Marriott, Rusniak was chosen for an interview. Due to her management position at Baja and leadership skills that she has gained, she was considered qualified enough to receive a job offer managing food and beverage operations.

Serving as a student supervisor and manager at Baja gave Rusniak the ability to be more involved on campus and expand her career simultaneously. Over breaks when Baja Grill was closed, Rusniak worked at different CDS locations like The MARK on 5th Street and Rollins.

“Last summer I had the opportunity to work with Susan [Dayton] and do the recruitment for Summer Welcome,” Rusniak said. “So, I got to talk to a bunch of freshmen about getting a job when they come to school.”

Rusniak said that she built most of her friendships at Baja and that is the reason why she has continued to work with CDS.

“I love all the people that work here and we’re all really good friends,” Rusniak said. “So I would definitely say that is a big part of why I’ve continued to work with CDS, because the friendships that I’ve made have been so important to me.”


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