“A lot of people say I have the best job on campus. That this has to be the most fun thing to do and I tend to agree with them. I have so much fun. It’s a culmination of all of the things that I’ve done. From restaurant management, working in membership-based organizations, creating cool guest experiences, all of that comes together in a unique way here.
“The University club is an important place on our campus, it gives us an opportunity to cultivate some social wellness, to get a break. We do live on campus, in a sense, so it’s nice to have someplace where you can socialize, relax, and celebrate milestones.”
When Amanda Gerard found out that The University of New Mexico was preparing to hire its first-ever manager for the school’s University Club (formerly known as the Faculty and Staff Club), she jumped at the opportunity. The timing was great for her, since she recently arrived in Albuquerque with her family and was looking for a new challenge.
And when she was hired by UNM to run the University Club, Gerard felt like she was returning home.
“Growing up my dad had season tickets to Lobo Basketball and Lobo Football, and I started going to the games with him when I was five. When I was in kindergarten my favorite food was a Lobo Dog, and going home after Lobo games on a school night my bedtime story was the post-game show.
“I grew up with UNM, and I got a chance to see what the university experience was about and what being a Lobo fan was like. I really fell in love with it. In some ways it feels like coming home.”
The University Club had never been run by a manager prior to Gerard’s arrival. A board of directors managed the club, but with their limited time to dedicate to the location, they decided to hire someone who was responsible for managing the club full time.
The Socorro, N.M. native grew up in an entrepreneurial family, her parents were small business owners in the small town. Gerard quickly learned that helping customers wasn’t something that she was just good at, it was something she truly enjoyed doing. She’s brought that same spirit to the University Club, as is quickly evident to anyone who visits.
“I quickly learned that a major part of our experience in purchasing anything is customer service. So hospitality is unique in that you’re selling an intangible product. Tomorrow I can’t give someone the same experience they had today. I can’t return their ‘yesterday experience’ and give them a new one.
“I love for people to feel welcome, and that they are valued and that we appreciate them.”