Marriott room operations voyager job career story
Courtesy of Cole C.

Name: Cole C.
Position: Room Operations Voyager
Hotel: Marriott Marquis Houston
Dream Destination: My dream is to travel the world and grow a platform online so I can share other people’s cultures. [I’d start with] Vietnam or Malaysia, or a road trip throughout Eastern Europe.
Treat of choice: Prime Hydration or Prime Energy. I am a huge fan of KSI & Logan Paul.

Sometimes, when you feel lost, you need someone like a mentor to show you the way. That happened to Cole, a Room Operations Voyager at the Marriott Marquis Houston, who found himself plan-less after college and wondering what to do next.

“I did not know what I was going to do after I graduated college,” recalls Cole. But one day, on a serendipitous visit to The St. Regis Houston, things started to fall into place for Cole.

“My professor and mentor, Cathy, introduced me to The St. Regis Houston Director of Human Resources, Tania, and she helped set me up with an interview for the Marriott Voyage Program,” he recalls. “I went through multiple interviews, and after about three weeks of interviewing and waiting, I got a call and was offered the opportunity at the Marriott Marquis Houston. I was very excited. I knew this was the golden ticket into management.”

→ A Guide to the Voyage Application Process

For Cole, one of the main advantages of the Voyage program, besides getting hands-on experience in different departments, is the close mentorship it provides.

Marriott room operations voyager job career story

Courtesy of Cole C.

“The great part of the Voyage program is that you are assigned a champion and a coach. My coach, Brianna, has been phenomenal in my growth and is a great leader by example. I also have a champion, Juan, who oversees Brianna and me to ensure my program is as successful and efficient as possible. I love both of them. They are both kind and helpful.”

Learn more about how Cole is making the most of his Voyage experience and where he plans to go next, in his own words below.

What do you do as a Room Operations Voyager at the Marriott Marquis Houston?

My program requires that I perform for six months in the front office, and six months in housekeeping. As a voyager currently in the front office portion, I perform daily tasks that are equivalent to our assistant room operation managers, which involves leading the associates in the team, assisting with guest complaints, and completing the manager’s checklist.

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of the job is being put into difficult or complex situations that I get to solve. Every day is different, and every guest is different. My managers are great at guiding me in solving different issues and seeing them provide a winning result with the guests gives me the confidence to solve problems like these on my own. Every day is a different challenge, and that is my favorite part – because it is never repetitive.

How would you describe your experience as a Marriott associate?

My experience as a Marriott associate has been nothing short of wonderful. Marriott is a company that definitely takes pride in taking care of their associates. The team here at Marriott is supportive of each other and feels like a second family. The guidance and mentorship [I’ve received] here has been invaluable, and I already know that I want to stay within this company long-term.

Marriott room operations voyager job career story

Courtesy of Cole C.

What has been the most impactful moment of your Marriott experience?

The most impactful moment of my Marriott experience has been getting to collaborate with other team members on ways to go above and beyond for the guests. There was a guest who was having a rough time in their personal life, so I watched the other associates come up with something nice for the guest, and they asked me if it was alright for them to give the guest a free amenity, and of course I told them they should do it. Watching them go above and beyond was incredibly impactful and it goes on to prove that hospitality does impact the heart of both the guests and the associate.

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

Once we had a mandatory manager training with managers from different properties, which included a guest speaker on time management and management strategies. Getting to be a part of that, meeting managers from other places, seeing people’s journeys and creating connections made me realize that Marriott isn’t just a company but a tight community.

Marriott room operations voyager job career story

Courtesy of Cole C.

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

Marriott’s culture is like glue, once you are attached, you stick with it. Marriott has brand standards that are easy to follow, and I feel these standards are what build the culture. Everyone is incredibly friendly, and we all look out for each other. I didn’t feel this way when I worked with other companies. There is a reason why people stay with this company for the rest of their lives, and it is because of the support and the culture.

Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott

To be honest, I feel supported at Marriott daily. I feel supported by management, by my coach and champion, by associates, and by everyone else. We support each other and we all watch out for each other. The idea of constantly helping each other grow and becoming a family is what makes me feel supported here.

Marriott room operations voyager job career story

Courtesy of Cole C.

What are some of the more unique or exciting projects you’ve been able to take part in at Marriott?

At the end of the Voyage Program, we have to complete a capstone project. This has been an exciting project because [by the time I finish] I will be able to fix certain issues in the department and create better methods and practices to enhance the processes here at the hotel. Having the opportunity to oil the gears that make this hotel run and make things better before I leave is what makes me excited. It is an opportunity to build my legacy.

Where do you hope the Voyage program will take you?

I know I will stay in hospitality and hotels because the Lord has gifted me with a servant’s heart, and this environment is the best way I can put that to use. After my Voyage program, I would like to secure a management position at another property and continue to grow and learn. My ideal situation would be to work in another country so I can learn different ways other countries and cultures deliver hospitality and I can gain new perspectives.

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