Congratulations, you got the job! After a thorough interview process, your first day at Marriott is coming soon and we want you to feel excited and motivated for what’s to come. If you don’t believe us when we say you’re about to embark on an extraordinary journey, take it from our very own associates.
Here, we’ve gathered experiences from real associates — from recent graduates to professionals with no previous hospitality experience, to veterans, chefs, housekeepers, and more — who shared what they learned on their first days at Marriott.
Empowerment from Day One
“My first day at Marriott was as a sous chef at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Arts in Barcelona, Spain, it was the year 2005,” says Jakob, currently an Executive Chef at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. “Coming from working in Michelin-starred restaurants I remember how friendly everyone was here. I came from a background where it was more competition against each other instead of collaboration to move forward together.”
What surprised Jakob the most on his first day was the fact that he was taught about employee empowerment and decision-making in his very first orientation session. “The fact that we could solve a guest issue on the spot, without getting the manager’s approval was an eye-opener for me. I had been in situations before when I was receiving a guest complaint, and I was unable to solve it as I did not have decision power. I thought the idea of empowering employees was a brilliant idea. I had never heard about this concept before.”
Support From Your Leaders
“I have felt supported every day since day one. From my first day my managers showed me how everything worked, the system, everything,” says Carolina, a Housekeeping Coordinator at the JW Marriott Downtown Chicago who was offered her current role in the office after having worked as a Marriott housekeeper for 10 years. “I was very nervous in the beginning, but my managers told me “Don’t worry,” I’ve had their support every minute. Even at the interview, they told me “Don’t worry, if you get the job, we will teach you.”
Before she started, Carolina was worried about being in an office environment, and using the computer, and her worst fear materialized. On the day she started her new role the systems went down.
What did she do? Instead of panicking, and because she had such support and trust from her team and her managers, Carolina got to work with what she had, just like she had learned to do for all those years in housekeeping. Instead of wasting time waiting for the system to be fixed, she started to do it by hand and got her team of housekeepers to work while the system was down. Everyone around her was amazed at her decisiveness and pragmatism.
Be Ready to, ehm, Actually Like it
“I only planned to work for Marriott for a short time until I found something in the HVAC field, but after the first week, I knew I belonged at Marriott,” recalls Nick, a former Engineering Supervisor at Nashville Airport who is now Marriott’s Vice President of Engineering and Facilities Operations for the U.S.
“Within the first week, everyone was always smiling and greeting each other. I felt like I worked at the happiest place in the world. The military was great, and I would do it all over again, but it’s not a jovial environment,” says Nick. “So, when I flipped the switch from one extreme to another, I immediately loved what I was doing and where I was doing it.”
Preparedness Goes a Long Way
“On my first day opening the Aloft Downtown Providence as a front desk agent a lot of things were going through my mind. I remember we opened on November 19th, 2021, and I was the first 3 to 11 PM shift,” says Elijah, a former Marriott intern who got his start at the same time as his hotel was opening its doors after the pandemic. “I will say my biggest concern was checking in somebody with no money hahaha.”
The fear of doing something for the first time might be inevitable, but Elijah did some preparation ahead of the big day that made a difference for him by taking advantage of some of the tools he was given during his onboarding process. “When it comes to online [training] videos, I know for many of us it is so tiring and we much prefer sitting in class and having somebody teaching us directly, but the online videos about the brand really helped me. Watching the brand training videos lets you know what guests or even Marriott expects when they check in at an Aloft. Aloft is Sassy, Savvy, and Space! Aloft is loud and different by design. You learn that by watching training and what the brand is, so you know the expectations of what Marriott and guests expect from you.”
You Might Surprise Yourself
“‘How does a creative writing grad student from Amish country end up interning at Marriott?’ This is exactly what I thought to myself the first day I stepped into Marriott’s corporate headquarters in downtown Bethesda, Maryland,” says Abigail, a former HR Fellow at Marriott’s HQ. “It was one of the biggest buildings I had ever seen outside of New York City (the towering HQ has a whopping 21 floors) and all I knew about Marriott was from the years my aunt and uncle had both worked there and the many, many stays I had spent at Marriott hotels growing up.”
As a budding author working toward her master’s in creative writing, Abigail admits she had always envisioned her dream job very specifically and it had nothing to do with hospitality. “While my experience in the Marriott HQ Fellowship/Internship Program was a far cry from the literary haven I had envisioned, I have loved everything about my time at Marriott.”
Inspiration From Your Team
It was at the first hotel where he worked, the luxurious Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in his native Puerto Rico, where Gabe, today an Assistant Room Operations Manager at the Sheraton Grand Chicago Riverwalk, met the woman who would inspire him to take his career, and his personal life, to new heights.
“When I first started my Marriott career, I still had not come out as gay. Not to my parents, not to my friends. My mentor was the first person I ever told, and she welcomed me with open arms,” he recalls. “She helped me see that in this community there is no judgment, and we are free to be ourselves.”
“When I first started at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, that was my first experience where I could finally feel like myself without being judged. Marriott’s culture has helped me express who I am and see that there is always a place for everyone. This community strives to accept everyone no matter their race, color, gender, preference, sexuality, and everything else. I have never felt more at home than when I am at work.”