Name: Nada I.
Position: Learning and Development Manager
Hotel: The St. Regis Cairo
Dream destination: Japan
Drink or treat of choice: A tie between Spanish latte and avocado juice with milk and honey, depending on the time of the day.
From the moment she stepped into The St. Regis Cairo, Nada understood the St. Regis maxim: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
“I was mesmerized by the hotel’s luxurious ambience overlooking the Nile River, the genuine smiles of the hosts, and the welcoming feel of the heart of the house and the HR lounge,” she recalls.
Nada started her Marriott journey just a year ago in this luxurious riverfront hotel and is responsible for the hotel team’s brand and culture trainings. She oversees The St. Regis Cairo’s team development, helping the associates make the most of their skills so they can deliver the most exquisite service to their guests.
Reflecting on her first year as a St. Regis associate, Nada values the many opportunities she’s received to grow professionally, along with the work-life balance her leaders encourage. Hear it — read it — in her own words below.
What is your favorite part of working at St. Regis?
Sharing the brand’s fascinating history, culture and rituals with the new hires. The St. Regis brand is relatively new to the Egyptian market as it was officially introduced only three years ago. Most of the potential hires know our hotel from its shining reputation and high performance in the market and that’s their main drive to join us. Once they attend their orientation on the first day of work, their “aha” moments fill the training room as they truly understand the real reason behind our market positioning. I also enjoy sharing with them the exclusive privileges and partner programs we offer them. From hotel stays and travel deals to discounts on luxury items, Marriott associates truly feel appreciated and taken care of.
What was your St. Regis interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?
For my role, I needed to go through two main interviews; one with the HR department and the other with the General Manager. Both interviews were more of a learning experience about what luxury is and how the St. Regis brand encompasses luxury. Of course, a main part of the interview was about my professional expertise and knowledge but for me it was more about truly understanding the core of the St. Regis brand. My only tip for candidates with passion towards Learning and Development is, if you live for the “aha” moments you get from the trainees during their learning experiences, then the St. Regis brand is for you. Its rich history and iconic rituals will never stop amazing them and you.
What does a good day at work look like for you?
When I arrive at work 30 minutes early, clutching my cup of coffee and sitting down in my office to check my emails to get ahead of the day. Whilst sipping on my coffee, I make a to-do list for what I am hoping to accomplish on that day. I then attend the hotel’s morning briefing to know where we stand for the day, then I head to a training session and deliver a topic that intrigues the interest of my hosts.
An ideal training session would be when it is highly interactive, challenging, and my fellow hosts add to my experience as I add to theirs. When I see the objectives of the training sessions reflecting on the floor and through guest comments, I truly feel accomplished and can say “that was a good day at work!”
How has Marriott or St. Regis provided you with the training and support you need to grow your career
Here, training doesn’t necessarily come only in the form of classroom or virtual sessions. Marriott and The St. Regis have supported my growth so far by presenting me with new and diverse challenges that would always keep me on my toes and keep my mind agile and active, and that will definitely reflect on my career growth.
Describe a moment you felt supported.
I feel most supported at Marriott and St. Regis when I get credit and recognition for the efforts and hard work that I put in. Also, when I am given the trust to get involved in events and programs that are out of my scope of work; that makes me feel empowered and supported.
How has Marriott or St. Regis supported your family?
I am privileged to work in a brand and with a manager that encourages work-life balance, which is one of my personal values to live by and that of course, reflects positively on my family and my work. I have created memorable experiences with my family that I would not have been able to do without having had the trust to achieve my objectives while managing my annual days off.
How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?
I am yet to use that benefit as a Marriott associate. However, I am really looking forward to it! As it is an incredible benefit that I can’t wait to use as I travel around for work and pleasure.