When thinking about working for a giant corporation, a lot of fears may enter your mind. Will anyone care about my thoughts? Will I make a difference, or will I just be getting people coffee? As a graduate intern myself, I had the same fears after watching one too many TV dramas with the classic shot of a young woman being laughed at by a table of men. Don’t worry though, that’s not how Marriott is. Marriott, at its core, encourages all its associates (that’s what Marriott calls its employees) – including fellows and interns – to have a voice and make real changes to the way that Marriott runs.
Another common fear of potential interns: How do you even land an internship at a big, prestigious company like Marriott International? Turns out, there are some concrete strategies a few of our 116 current HQ interns deployed to get employed. Here’s how real Marriott interns landed a spot in Marriott’s HQ Fellowship/Internship Program.
1. Attend career fairs
Many of our interns first heard of Marriott while attending a career fair. Career fairs are amazing places to meet one on one with people who work for the companies you love – and ones you may have never heard of before. If you make a good first impression, you can make connections that you can continue to learn from after the fair.
One of our current interns, Emily Isaacson, a rising junior from the University of Maryland was able to learn about Marriott at one of these fairs.
“I attended a career fair at the University of Maryland and Marriott had a stall. I liked the people I spoke to, so I applied for the position and got an interview!” says Emily. “I didn’t know a lot about Marriott when I applied but the people that interviewed me made me so excited about the position, so I was so happy that I was offered the role.”
Insider Tip: As Emily points out, getting an interview is a crucial first step, and you don’t need to have prior experience in hospitality to make that happen (I’m currently getting my master’s in creative writing!), but make sure your resume has been updated and bring some spare copies with you when you go to meet people. If your university has a career center, those are great people to go to for resume assistance, but if you don’t, turn to someone else in your life that you trust. My aunt was able to help me with my resume — she helped me learn how to talk about myself, which is a huge struggle of mine, but necessary if you want to put your best foot forward. Remember, your interviewer wants to know about you, so (as cheesy as it might sound) be yourself! Also- make sure to send your interviewer a thank you email after your time with them has ended – they’re taking time out of their busy schedule to talk to you after all!
2. Do your Research
Many people are often surprised by all the opportunities at Marriott when they go looking for jobs. Harshit Singh, who attends Virginia Tech and is working as a Security Data Architect Intern, was surprised to hear about Marriott’s security system from a friend.
“I found out about the internship program through a family friend who talked highly upon Marriott’s security infrastructure which sounded out of this world to me at the time.” says Harshit. “I thought of Marriott as simply a hospitality brand and never gave thought to the actual security behind the company.”
Insider Tip: Many people often don’t know how their major may relate to hospitality. However, a company like Marriott needs more than just hospitality students to run – they need writers, engineers, people in IT, the list goes on and on. Don’t avoid applying to Marriott because you think you couldn’t possibly have something to offer — you have more to offer than you might think.
3. Go see speakers when they visit your campus
Many universities host guest speakers, and it’s often easy to assume that because you might not be majoring in the exact same field that there’s no point in attending. However, college is one of the few times in your life where you can have constant exposure to jobs that you might not otherwise think to explore — so take advantage of it.
Diana Fernandez Sola, who attends the University of Maryland, College Park and is an intern with our Global Finance department, got to learn about Marriott this way. “Last September, Marriott Executives did a panel at UMD, specifically at the business school, and I was part of the audience.” says Diana. “The way they were talking about the company, its values and even about Mr. Marriott, made me realize that I wanted to be part of a company, if not Marriott, another one, where I could speak proudly of it as they were doing that day.”
Insider Tip: Hearing directly from company representatives (like Diana did) can give you an idea what the culture of the company is like and if it’s a good fit for you. Also, much like at career fairs, you often get a chance to speak to the people visiting, whether that be during the event during a question-and-answer session, or for a few minutes afterward. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself and ask questions – that can be a great way to make yourself stand out from the crowd and may help you once you start filling out applications.
Overall, the application process for any internship is a stressful time, so take a deep breath and remind yourself that if we can do it, you can do it too. I hope we can see you at Marriott!