Alumnus Takes Internship Experience to Top Spot on TripAdvisor
Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies graduate Max Accordino '16 transformed his internship experience abroad into a career.
Max Accordino ’16 has always loved traveling. It wasn’t until his first study-abroad experience in Norway through SUNY Brockport that he knew tourism management could turn that passion into a career.
“I was receiving college credits to go scuba diving, and I was hooked,” Accordino said. “I knew a career in this field would be fun. Plain and simple.”
Accordino returned from Norway and changed his concentration to tourism management. His next step toward graduation was an internship in his field. As a member of Delta College, he felt prepared for more than a simple internship — he wanted to lead.
"I always felt that Delta supported me in trying to do something more professional," Accordino said. "Delta helped me grow into something more than just an educated graduate."
Accordino was inspired to find an internship outside of the country and had his sights set on a study-abroad program in Prague, but there was one problem. The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies had no approved internship sites in Prague. Accordino's advisor Joel Agate managed to find and approve an internship site within weeks.
“All I knew was that I wanted to do something with event planning,” Accordino said. “The College did the rest for me by finding a great place to intern that fit my needs.”
The College decided on Mosaic House — a hotel located in the heart of Prague. Accordino worked directly with the hotel’s general manager Nha-Dja Tien, who oversees a handful of hotels in Prague, on planning and managing events for guests and staff. Tien took the opportunity to mold and train Accordino, helping him see tourism in a completely different light. At the end of his internship, Tien approached Accordino with an offer.
“Tien told me he had a dream the night before that I was going to open a new property (MOOo by the Castle), and that it would be the No. 1-rated hotel in Prague on TripAdvisor,” Accordino said. Dreams came true.
Accordino signed a two-year contract that had him thoroughly involved in the process of opening the new location. After about six months of preparation, MOOo by the Castle finally opened with Accordino at the helm. As the resident manager, he takes part in just about everything that goes on at the hotel, ranging from client check-in to managing and scheduling staff.
MOOo by the Castle quickly found its way to the No. 1 spot on TripAdvisor under the guidance of Accordino, and he made it happen in a unique way.
“I decided to focus on the happiness of my staff rather than the guest,” Accordino said. “I have always believed that a happy staff will lead to happy guests. I have full faith in the staff that I have built, and I will take their word over a guest’s if that is what it comes down to.”
Accordino’s contract as the resident manager for MOOo by the Castle will end in May 2019, but his role at MOOo is far from over. Tien has offered him the opportunity to gain experience on the business and marketing side of hotel management in order to further refine his skills.
“As managing director, I will overlook both MOOo apartments and Mosaic House in Prague,” Accordino said. “I currently only have operations experience, but after this, I will know how to manage an entire hotel from step one.”
Accordino hopes that he can use the skills he has gained at MOOo Apartments to someday open a park for people with disabilities.