Name: Edward D.
Position: Receiving/Purchasing Clerk
Hotel: Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront
Dream destination: A few weeks of traveling and seeing Europe while staying in great Marriott hotels
Drink or treat of choice: Either a nice cold IPA or an ice-cold Pepsi
To U.S. Marine Corps veteran Edward D., the core values seen at Marriott are not unlike those taught in the military.
“We take care of people, our team as well as others,” says Edward, who served in the Marines until 2007, working in supply administration and accounting for an artillery/ infantry battalion, which included two tours in Iraq. “Both organizations work with integrity and have the goal of making the world a better place.”
Upon leaving the Marines, Edward was looking for two things in a civilian position: 1. To work for another large organization, and 2. A job in accounting, so he could continue to advance his career. He got both of those with Marriott when he joined the accounting team at the Tampa Marriott Water Street in 2007. He’s now been with the company for over 15 years, moving up through a number of supervisory and managerial positions in Front Office and Housekeeping, including serving as the Operations Manager of Rooms and Housekeeping for both the Renaissance Tampa International Plaza Hotel and the Tampa Marriott Water Street.
“As a housekeeping leader, I had about 80 associates in my department,” says Edward. “Over the years I saw them grow and develop. I saw some of them, who barely spoke English when they started, grow with the company and become leaders. I worked with very special people that taught me a lot about work, and life, and helped me through my own experiences and difficulties.”
Edward, who was born in Guayama, Puerto Rico and grew up in Chicago and Tampa, is now living in Oregon with his wife and children, serving as the Receiving/Purchasing Clerk at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, helping the kitchen purchase and receive orders. Read more about his Marriott Journey below, including his advice for veterans looking to transition into civilian careers.
How has your military experience served you in your Marriott career?
My military experience gave me the work ethic and attention to detail needed to help a successful organization like Marriott. It helped me become responsible and always have the bigger organizational picture in mind.
Do you have any advice for Veterans looking to pivot into hospitality?
Bring the work ethic and the discipline learned in the military to the job. It’s still a civilian job, so come with an open mind and the mentality of being flexible for the guests and your co-workers. This will make you succeed, stand out, and will lead to leadership opportunities.
What was your Marriott interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
My interview process was good and wasn’t intimidating — most of the managers who interviewed me were very knowledgeable about the organization as well as the roles that each department and associate plays.
For prospective candidates, I would recommend having scenarios already in mind for the interviews. They are usually looking for customer service experience, so try to apply your military experience to everyday customer service. For example, while in the Marine Corps I purchased supplies and warehoused our military equipment. I saw each section as a customer and applied my experiences with each section that needed to order or store items, as a customer experience.
What’s one surprising thing about your role most people might not know?
In my previous roles specifically, the most surprising thing was the effort that Marriott and its leaders showed in developing other leaders for the company. As a supervisor and young manager, I was given plenty of growth opportunities. I was sent to multiple developmental courses in different hotels around the U.S. and was groomed and mentored to succeed as a leader and help the company and its associates succeed.
What’s surprised you most about your job or about working for Marriott?
The flexibility. Over 15 years with the company, Marriott has always been flexible when it comes to work-life balance. When I had children and needed to spend more time at home, or when I needed to work certain shifts to make sure my family was cared for, Marriott was accommodating, and worked with me to get a flexible schedule and even looked for another role that better fit my scheduling needs.
Favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job, specifically in a leadership position, is the effect you can have on your co-workers and team.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
I use the associate discount about three times a year. I usually travel with my wife and kids a couple of times a year, not too far from home, and have long weekends there with them. We have been able to stay in great hotels for a very low rate. My wife and I were also able to stay at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square during our honeymoon. We were even upgraded to a suite with a view over the city and provided with complimentary amenities to help celebrate the special occasion.