Name: Christie G.
Position: Market Revenue Management Leader
Location: San Diego, California
Dream destination: Ireland. My husband and I aspire to be able to take 2-3 weeks minimum to just travel the country and visit pubs and castles at our leisure.
Drink or treat of choice: Both lean toward the sweet side — I love to try craft cocktails and I love anything chocolate!
When considering a career in hospitality, most people would think of jobs at the front desk, housekeeping, food and beverage, or sales department inside a hotel. But there’s an entire universe of hybrid and remote positions at Marriott you might not have known about. Such was the case for Christie, a market revenue manager within Marriott’s Shared Services department who started her career working as a front desk agent in a boutique hotel and has been greatly surprised by the department and position she holds today.
“You don’t have to be a mathematician to be a great revenue manager!” she says. “There are amazing systems and tools available to help with the numbers. And the ability to strategize, influence and communicate is far more important in this discipline.”
After her first hotel front desk job, she worked her way up to front desk manager before moving to the sales department. She also held positions as a catering coordinator, corporate sales manager, director of sales, and even general manager at a variety of hotels before starting her Marriott journey, 16 years ago.
“I crossed over from sales to revenue management 14 years ago starting as a director of group strategy for multiple Southern California markets before becoming a market revenue management leader for both Houston, Texas, and now San Diego, California,” she says of her impressive resume. Today, Christie is responsible for leading the development and execution of revenue-generating strategies for four Marriott properties in downtown San Diego and on the iconic Coronado Island.
As a Marriott Shared Services department leader, Christie’s position is hybrid. She works primarily remotely but likes to be in- person at one of the hotels she oversees at least once a week.
“I’ve been working remotely since mid-2020 due to Covid. Although I do have an office, I prefer to have a workstation in my dining room where there is a lot of natural light and views. I use the office for calls or Zoom meetings where I need a quiet space,” she explains. “I find working from home has afforded me much better work/life balance since I save about an hour of commute time, and I also can focus better without office distractions.”
She typically keeps a regular work routine from 8 am to 5-6 pm, depending on the workload of the day, but is flexible. “If I need to get a workout in, I don’t feel bad doing it midday and adding time where I need or want to. I love the flexibility,” she adds.
Learn more from Christie’s own Marriott journey in her own words.
What is your favorite part of the job?
The synergies I have established with the different disciplines. Every department has a critical role in the success of the hotel and I love that we get to touch every department in one way or another depending on the day or situation. It keeps the job fresh and interesting all the time.
Do you remember a moment when you felt like a part of a community at Marriott?
There are multiple moments, most involving the conferences and events where we get to connect and network. The Topline Leadership Conference in fall 2022 was special because it was the first time post-Covid that we were able to reconnect. It was special to connect and share stories of how we had gotten through the last few years and come out the other side.
When it comes to the interviewing process at Marriott, do you have any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
Most of my leadership positions have been panel based and that can be stressful, but with proper preparation it is very satisfying to be able to present my accomplishments. My biggest advice would be to keep a running diary of big wins throughout your career and even in your personal life to make it easier to come up with STAR interview responses (STAR is a method of interviewing that consists of answering behavioral-based question by discussing the specific situation, task, action, and result of the situation you are describing.) One of my associates was recently on a jury and was the foreman. There were multiple STAR responses that could be extracted from that experience. Also, prepare, prepare, prepare and find a mentor to role play interviews to strengthen communication skills.
How would you describe your experience at Marriott?
I’ve been very happy as an associate. I’ve been blessed to have leaders that have been proactive in knowing when I am ready for new challenges and have supported my growth. I have learned though that it is my responsibility to speak up and help guide my career path in the directions I am interested in pursuing.
Which of Marriott’s values resonate most with you?
Take care of your associates and they will take care of the guest, and they will keep coming back. I do think it starts with the company’s internal culture first.
How would you describe Marriott’s culture?
We are a tight-knit community. You get out of it what you put in, and you have to be willing to be vulnerable and put yourself out there. I have made life-long friends here, it truly feels like a family.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
One of my favorite places to use my Marriott Explore Rate has been Hawaii. There are so many wonderful hotels from the Waikiki Beach Marriott to the Westin Princeville to the Marriott Ko Olina Beach Club. I also love the Phoenician in Arizona. In all honesty, though, the hotel I have been the most frequent traveler to is a small Fairfield Inn in Santa Maria, California which is the closest to my family. Great property with a nice complimentary breakfast!