Global Tech Senior Director Marriott Career Story
Courtesy of Tara B.

Name: Tara B.
Position: Senior Director, Customer Engagement Center & Property Reservations Products
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Dream Destination: Fiji
Treat of choice: Nerds Gummy Clusters

Tara will never forget the day she started working at Marriott. And not only because it was 2/22/22, an auspicious and easy-to-remember date, but because that’s also the date she learned she would join an elite loyalty team. “The Off Folio Earn + Redeem project [I work on] has been exciting since day one!” she says.

To translate her role to non-tech lingo, we can say that Tara is a loyalty expert. She started as a Director of Member Services Product working with the strategy, design, operations, and development teams to keep Marriott’s Bonvoy members engaged and make it easier for them to earn and redeem points.

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“Loyalty is in everything we do as a company and it’s my responsibility to make sure that members know that we appreciate their loyalty to Marriott,” says Tara, who was recently promoted to a new role: Senior Director, Customer Engagement Center and Property Reservations Products.

Global Tech Senior Director Marriott Career Story

Courtesy of Tara B.

Learn more about Tara’s journey in her own words below.

What are the 3 biggest learnings you’ve picked up from your time at Marriott?

  1. The most important lesson I’ve learned at Marriott is that the work you do speaks for itself. Every day I strive to bring a fresh perspective and innovative ideas that move the organization forward and make a difference. I’ve found that when you put in the hard work and stay committed to the job, your efforts don’t go unnoticed.
  2. Leadership at Marriott leads by your side. I’ve been fortunate to have not just great leadership, but mentors who have helped me grow and succeed in my role. They’ve encouraged me to take risks and have never hesitated to lend a helping hand.
  3. Finally, I’ve learned that there’s still so much more to learn. The hospitality industry is always changing and evolving and I’m constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of the curve and stay up to date on the latest trends and technologies. I’ve also learned to be open and receptive to feedback, which has enabled me to become a more knowledgeable and well-rounded professional.

You recently participated in AfroTech — how was that experience?

AfroTech was an invigorating experience! It was exceptionally nice to connect with Marriott employees I had never met. Within an hour, I was able to see the Marriott “spirit” I had hoped would be present. My fellow Marriott employees were immediately family! It was also very gratifying to represent Marriott International in a space where young people of all races could see that there was space for them at Marriott in a world of super technologies. I was also pleasantly surprised to see the tech-savvy and digital literacy of all the attendees. It was an honor to serve as a mentor, as I was able to give back and provide encouragement to the young women and men of the future.

Global Tech Senior Director Marriott Career Story

Courtesy of Tara B.

What’s one thing Marriott is doing to redefine tech in the travel industry?

One thing Marriott is exploring is ways to bring more modern technology to its associates, guests, and members. It’s an exciting time at Marriott for technology!

How has Marriott supported your growth?

Marriott has supported my growth by nominating me to attend exclusive training courses to better myself for my team, and those that I support as a manager. AfroTech 2023 was also a great opportunity to learn about myself and share my Marriott experience to hopefully inspire others to join the Marriott family. Marriott has also supported my growth by giving me the opportunity to take on new roles and responsibilities and try new things.

How have you witnessed your impact globally?

I have witnessed my global impact through the teams that I support. I’m based in the US and my stakeholders are all over the globe. It’s been rewarding to witness how the teams I support have been able to successfully work together and build strong relationships to drive the business forward.

What’s one large-scale project you have worked on?

The Off Folio Earn and Redeem Project that reaches CALA, EMEA, and APAC is the project that I’ve been working on. This project allows us to give our members the option to earn and redeem points for dining, spa services, and retail purchases when they are not actively staying on property. It allows properties to earn incremental revenue and Marriott Bonvoy members to be rewarded outside of being currently on folio as a part of a hotel stay.

Describe a moment you felt like a part of a community at Marriott.

Once I was on the elevator waiting to exit at my selected floor and a Marriott employee got on the elevator and said, “Oh you’re Tara! I’ve heard so many great things about you.” It was a proud moment that proved that the work I was doing was meaningful and made a difference. It made me feel like I was a part of something larger than myself, that I could contribute my skills to and benefit from the community at Marriott.

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

Inclusive, collaborative, and engaging. Everyone I have interacted with at Marriott has been friendly and always willing to lend a helping hand. There is a strong sense of connectedness and community.  Teams are encouraged to brainstorm together and come up with creative solutions to challenges. It is a great place to work and learn from other professionals.

Global Tech Senior Director Marriott Career Story

Courtesy of Tara B.

What was your interview process like, and any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?

My Marriott interview process was amazing. I think it’s important to apply for the position that you know that you’re qualified for. If you do, when you’re interviewing, it’s much easier to speak on your successes and learning experiences in your work history and to share your career goals. My tips for candidates looking for a role like mine would be to focus on the company values, the culture and the mission. Marriott is built on service, and so it’s incredibly important to make sure that you’re able to show how your skills and experiences can align with the company’s needs.

Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott.

Being still relatively new to Marriott, I feel supported when I do not know the answer to a question. I’m confident that I can reach out to colleagues on my team and outside of my team and they’re responsive to my request for information. I also feel supported when I’m provided with resources to help me with my work and when my ideas and opinions are heard and taken into consideration.

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I have used the Marriott Explore Rate to book rooms in the US and abroad. It’s great for budget-conscious travelers because you can get discounted rates when you stay with Marriott. Using the Marriott Explore Rate also allows me to meet my extended Marriott family. When showing up on property, there’s a sense of pride in lodging where you know the same Marriott values are shared by you and the hotel staff.

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