Name: Britney K.
Position: Events Specialist/ Operations Manager
Hotel: The Melbourne Florida Courtyard by Marriott
Dream destination: I would love to go to Bali, but Ireland and Scotland are also on my list
Drink or treat of choice: I am a soda fan, so Dr. Pepper is my drink of choice, but I usually do water with some acai berry flavoring in it.
Just ten years ago, Britney K. was handling explosives for the U.S. Navy, and now she’s settling into her new events and operations role at The Courtyard Melbourne West on the east coast of Florida.
“I am learning things I never would have expected I was capable of and that gives me a great sense of pride,” says Britney about her experience at Marriott. “While it is crazy and continuously changing, it is the most fun I have ever had at a job.”
Britney has been with Marriott since December 2021, when she started as a flex associate at the hotel’s bistro. Britney quickly seized on the opportunity for training and on-the-job learning and within a year, she moved from the bistro to the front desk to her current role of Events Specialist/ Operations Manager.
“The military taught me that there is always room for improvement, and you can never stop learning,” says Britney, who served as an Aviation Ordnanceman (AO), handling explosives and the support gear for the weapons on fighter F-18 hornet jets. “Marriott has given me experiences that I never would have expected in such a short amount of time, which has continued to help me grow as an employee and as a person.”
Britney joined the Navy right after high school, which took her to Japan for a year — six months of which was aboard the George Washington Aircraft Carrier, where she visited Thailand, the Philippines, Korea and Singapore. After being honorably discharged, Britney started college and got her bachelor’s degree in HR and organizational management.
“I am a very open and friendly person, and while I was not yet set in what I wanted to do after college, I was given the opportunity to work at the Courtyard where I found great coworkers and an environment that settled the wanderer within me,” says Britney. “I gained skills from the military on how to lead, and organize, and work close and well with others, and I found that environment here at the Courtyard by Marriott.”
Below, read Britney’s advice for other veterans pivoting into hospitality, and learn more about her Marriott journey.
Do you have any advice for Veterans looking to pivot into hospitality?
It is fulfilling, but it is not easy. The military trains you for different environments and different training techniques from different instructors every time you may move to a new location. Having the open mindedness that you get from wanting to continue to learn can lead to great success in hospitality, where we are making every day better for other people — that’s what we do in the military, make the world a better safer place.
Having guests come to the hotel and compliment our staff or our location gives you a sense of pride in what you do. Pride is a big player in veterans because we are proud of what we have accomplished and what we gained from our experiences. To be able to bring what we have learned to a new place and teach new people or learn new things just bolsters that pride in achieving greatness.
What was your Marriott interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
When I interviewed with my AGM (Assistant General Manager) she was very friendly and open to what I had to say including information that I gave her. She was interested in my life and choices that I have made, and she made me feel very comfortable.
I would tell candidates to go into the interview confident in who you are and what you do.
What’s surprised you most about your job or about working for Marriott?
The effort my supervisors put into helping me achieve my goals both professionally and personally, and how much they supported me through graduating and getting married. This environment here is amazing.
What of Marriott’s core values resonate most with you?
Honestly, I resonate with all the core values. The military helps you learn that putting those before you is important — some of us fight for the people at the risk of our lives, while others fight for people for the idea of defense and safety. You continuously grow in the military and in hospitality because no one day is the same — there is always something new that you may experience, and you strive to make sure you are pursuing excellence.
Favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is learning new things daily.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
My husband teaches Tae Kwon Do and my daughter has been training under him, I have used the travel discount for hotels in Orlando during tournaments.