marriott hrr manager career story
Courtesy of Nathanial K.

Name: Nathanial K.
Position: Human Resources Manager
Hotel: St. Regis Deer Valley Resort
Dream destination: The Middle East — who wouldn’t want to visit the cradle of civilization and learn about where we all came from?
Drink or treat of choice: Currently, I’m in the mountains and it’s wintery outside. My drink of choice is a hot oat milk latte with cinnamon sprinkled on top.

“Rumor has it that no one has ever heard of a director of engineering transferring over to human resources,” says Nathanial, the HR Manager at the St. Regis Deer Valley Resort.

“I’m happy to blaze a path for future transitions.”

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Nathanial, a U.S. Army Veteran, spent the bulk of his civilian life climbing the engineering career ladder at Marriott. From a guest service technician answering engineering room calls, to mechanic, to assistant chief engineer, to a role at Marriott corporate as OSR (Operational Support Resources) Chief Engineer for HQ Americas, supporting a variety of different hotels across the country. Then Covid hit, and Nathanial pivoted out of hospitality for a while, eventually returning as the FLEX Director of Engineering for HQ Americas.

“I had my eye on transitioning out of engineering and moving over to a human resources career path for some time,” says Nathanial, who happened upon his current job while on assignment at the St. Regis Deer Valley (more about that interview process below). “My positions allowed me to work with many different brands in a short amount of time, hone my craft in engineering and leadership skills, and build and maintain relationships across the country.”

Before joining Marriott, Nathanial served four years as an 88K Watercraft Operator in the Army, which helped him develop skills in time management and leadership, as well as “my ability to adapt to the unpredictable nature of hospitality.”

“I didn’t seek a career in hospitality or Marriott,” says Nathanial, whose role as HR Manager includes recruiting, hiring and onboarding for open positions at the hotel. “However, once I got into the industry, I fell in love with it.”

Learn more about Nathanial’s experience as a Marriott associate, including the “unusual” interview process for his current role, in his own words below.

What’s surprised you most about your job or about working for Marriott?

What surprised me most about working for Marriott are all the opportunities for growth and development. The opportunity to go from engineering to human resources was a delight. Also, I enjoy running into old coworkers in the company a few years down the road and seeing all their successes.

What’s one surprising thing about your role most people might not know?

The most surprising thing about being new to human resources has been the breadth of knowledge needed to do this position effectively. There are local, state, and federal laws, Marriott initiatives, brand differences, paid time off, leaves of absences, ethics compliance, hiring practices…and the list goes on! I love it all.

Do you have any advice for Veterans looking to pivot into hospitality?

Hospitality is people driven. It’s a different environment compared to military life. You must be understanding and able to communicate effectively with many personality types. Hone your people skills and get a mentor.

What was your Marriott interview process like?

My interview process for my current role was unusual. I had my eye on transitioning out of engineering and moving over to a human resources career path for some time. I was on a task force assignment at the St. Regis Deer Valley’s engineering department. I saw that there was a management position open in the human resources office. The general manager and I had a few conversations about any HR experience I had as a director of engineering and how that could translate over. At the time we had a coordinator, generalist, another manager, and new director and thought it would be the perfect fit to transition at that point. I applied, STAR interviewed, met with the team, and eventually got hired on. Rumor has it that no one has ever heard of a director of engineering transferring over to human resources. I’m happy to blaze a path for future transitions.

What of Marriott’s core values resonate most with you?

Putting People First is the reason I will stay with this company for the rest of my career.

Favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of my job is hiring external managers and associates. I look forward to watching them grow and develop over the years.

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I’ve used the Marriott Explore Rate when I go to music and film festivals, the beach, the mountains, when I’m traveling abroad. I always check Marriott’s website before planning any trips I make.

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