marriott operations supervisor career story
Courtesy of Dominique S.

Name: Dominique S.
Position: Lead Hotel Operations Supervisor
Hotels: Courtyard Calgary Airport and Residence Inn Calgary Airport
Dream destinations: The Maldives
Drink or treat of choice: Bubble tea

When you think of the word “warmth,” your mind might well conjure images of sunbathing at the beach or cozying up near a fireplace. Yes, “warmth” can be in reference to a temperature, but it can also be a feeling—one that’s reflective of connectedness or happiness or internal fulfillment. Crucially, both definitions lend themselves to a positive connotation.

For Dominique, Lead Hotel Operations Supervisor in Calgary, that second understanding of “warmth” is what resonates most for her life in the Canadian prairies.

“The vast, open landscapes and friendly communities make the Canadian prairies a great place to work and live. The charm and warmth here are truly special,” she says. “This sense of community and teamwork is ingrained in the culture of the prairies, which creates a unique and supportive work environment.”

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The omnipresent cultural focus on community and teamwork in the prairies helps Dominique feel connected to her work at the Courtyard Calgary Airport and Residence Inn Calgary Airport, too.

“As a leader, I not only have the opportunity to impact our guests’ experiences, but also the experiences of all associates for the hotels. I take great pride in ensuring that our guests have a memorable and enjoyable stay, and that our team feels supported and empowered to provide exceptional service,” she says. “Working for Marriott has shown me how rewarding hospitality can be, and also the endless-feeling opportunities that exist in the industry.”

Whether developing her leadership chops as a hotel supervisor or making use of the Marriott Explore Rate to travel the globe, Dominique embodies the warmth of the prairies, connecting with her hotel’s guests and her colleagues. She thanks “the hospitality of the prairies” for helping her achieve a winning and fulfilling work-life balance.

Below she outlines how the prairies give her the best of both of those worlds: work and life.

Can you describe your role?

As Lead Hotel Operations Supervisor, I support both the front desk and food and beverage teams, oversee daily operations, ensure quality service, and assist in training and development of team members. It’s a dynamic role that requires strong communication and problem-solving skills, as well as the ability to adapt to changing circumstances in a fast-paced environment.

Since joining the Marriott family in 2020, I’ve had incredible leaders who have supported my personal growth and development (I’ve also held roles of Front Desk Supervisor, Operations Supervisor, and a Lead Hotel Operations Supervisor). I’ve been fortunate to have had the chance to take on new challenges and responsibilities, and I am grateful for the trust and support that Marriott has given me.

How would you describe your experience as a Marriott associate?

One of Marriott’s core values is putting people first, and I’ve felt this to be true throughout my career with the company—starting with the interview process. When I was interviewing, it felt more like a two-way conversation than something formal.

Additionally, I’ve had multiple opportunities for growth and advancement in my career. I’ve been able to participate in leadership-training programs and have attended events to grow my network in the industry. I’ve always felt encouraged to learn, develop new skills, and pursue my career goals. There is a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration, and I’ve felt this with all the Marriott hotels in my area. Whether I have a question about operations or I am looking for career advice, I know there are people to whom I can reach out.

Describe a moment when working at Marriott made you feel like part of a community.

In 2023, I had the opportunity to be a part of a three-day training for new leaders. This was one of the first times I was able to connect with individuals at the company who were at a similar stage in their careers. Through the training session, we found that many of us were experiencing similar challenges at our properties.

The whole experience—connecting with peers and identifying work similarities—made me feel like I was part of a larger community of professionals who understood and could relate to the struggles and triumphs of working in the hospitality industry. It was empowering to know that I had a network of support beyond my own property, and it gave me a sense of belonging within the Marriott family.

What is your favorite part of the job?

I love creating memorable moments and experiences for our guests and for fellow associates—hearing and seeing how one small action can make a big impact on someone’s day. Whether it’s helping a guest with a special request or recognizing a team member for their hard work, knowing that I have the ability to make an impact is truly rewarding.

Many of our guests stay with us often, and I love seeing them smile when I greet them by name right as they walk through the door. I also love getting to know our associates and how they’re doing outside of work. I believe it’s a great way to show colleagues they are valued and that I’m genuinely interested in their well-being.

Why did you choose to work in the prairies in Canada?

Working in the prairies gives me a great balance between the liveliness of a big city and the feel of a small town where I can slow down. I can go downtown for a night out with friends, and the next day, I can escape into one of the national parks for some fresh air and a slower pace.

I also chose to work in the prairies because of the welcoming and friendly community. It’s a slower pace of life, allowing for a more relaxed and peaceful atmosphere.

What are the must-visit attractions in or around Calgary?

Between enjoying natural beauty to delicious food and exciting attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy during a visit to the prairies. One of my favorite suggestions is visiting Banff National Park. We get visitors from all over the world at all times of the year just to see it. The scenery is incredible, and the town of Banff is such a peaceful and relaxing place to spend time. Whether you’re looking to ski, snowboard, hike or just stroll through the town, there’s plenty of things to see and do!

I’d also consider visiting the Canadian Badlands, which offers stunning landscapes with hoodoos, canyons and unique rock formations. It’s a great place for hiking, photography and exploring the natural beauty of the prairies. Plus, there are plenty of opportunities for dinosaur-fossil hunting and learning about the history of the area.

Another recommendation is to try out different restaurants in the Downtown or Beltline area of Calgary. That’s what you can usually find me doing on my days off. The Calgary Zoo is another great option. It’s home to over 1,000 animals from around the world and offers various exhibits and educational programs. It’s a fun and informative way to spend some time and learn about wildlife conservation. Also, the Royal Tyrrell Museum in the town of Drumheller is the only museum in Canada that’s dedicated exclusively to the study of ancient life.

What’s your favorite perk about working at Marriott?

I’ve been lucky enough to use the Marriott Explore Rate’s travel discount in a number of countries, including the Philippines, Spain, South Korea, and the Netherlands. I love traveling, and the discount is my favorite perk that I get working for Marriott. It’s been a great way for me to experience different cultures, cuisines and hospitality styles.

My coworkers joke that I’m always planning my next vacation, but I can’t help it. When you have access to more than 30 different brands across the world, it’s hard not to consider all the places you can visit.

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