Visiting Vegas? Drop in on London and the MGM Grand
By Dan Silvia, Communications Manager
Visiting Las Vegas? Luxor and New York, New York are nice, but it’s London that makes the MGM Grand Las Vegas the place to be. And, as the Vice President of Casino Operations at the iconic Vegas hotel, it is London Swinney’s responsibility to ensure your stay is the best it can be.
Swinney, a 2009 graduate of Bellevue University with a Bachelor of Science in Management, is in charge of gaming operations at the resort, including table games, the race and sports book, and poker.
“I oversee about a thousand employees and really a lot of things from guest service to employee relations to analyzing profitability of customers,” Swinney said. “I spend a lot of time with guests and employees.”
In addition to those responsibilities, Swinney contributes to overall direction of the organization and offers input on the latest in casino and hotel trends.
A native Las Vegan, Swinney attended the University of Nevada-Las Vegas out of high school, but was itching to move out of the house. However, she recognized that paying rent on top of tuition would be a stretch.
“I knew I probably couldn't get a nice apartment on what I was making,” she said. “I told my dad I wanted to learn how to deal cards just to make some extra money. He tried to get me not to do it. He said, ‘you're going to make too much money and then you're not going to finish your finance degree’.”
Father knows best.
Swinney did indeed take fewer and fewer classes. It was somewhere around 15 years later before she began thinking about school again.
“I was Director of Casino Operations at New York, New York,” she said. “It wasn't about advancing my career; it was more about my own self-satisfaction. I had young children at the time and wanted to set a good example. I never wanted to give them a reason not to finish their education.”
Still, fitting in classes around her work schedule was going to be tough at a traditional school. Bellevue University, which Swinney had learned about through a colleague, offered an online Management program. The cohort format in which students take one class at a time with the same group of people, was also attractive to Swinney.
“I went online, started looking, and I was amazed,” she said. “They had a plan. You know you're going to take this class, this class, and this class. I just methodically went through the program and was able to complete it. They just made it so organized and easy. Counselors were there that would answer any questions as well.”
Once enrolled, Swinney engaged with students from around the country and even around the world.
“We had students in the military in Afghanistan. There were students in Connecticut; there were students in Texas,” she said. “That's what I found the most fascinating about it. I was organizing a chat room with students from all over the world.
“The program was so comprehensive. They really have it designed very well. Bellevue was one of the first ones to the market with a really good, comprehensive, online program.”