marriott global tech leader Devona career story
Courtesy of Devona B.

Name: Devona B.
Position: Senior Project Manager
Location: Marriott HQ in Bethesda, Maryland
Dream destination: Indonesia – Bali to be exact!
Drink or treat of choice: Cupcakes, and I love strawberry lemonade.

When your passions in life are traveling and app development, being a part of Marriott’s Global Tech team seems like a match made in heaven. That’s how it feels for Devona, a Senior Project Manager in the Shared Data Services Team who fell in love with the company even before becoming an associate.

“I was introduced to the Marriott brand by my Uncle Butch, he always stayed at Marriott hotels when he traveled and spoke highly of the brand and his experiences at Marriott, so when I got old enough to travel on my own, I developed the same love,” she recalls. “I was super excited when I learned that there was an opportunity for me to continue my application development journey as a project manager with Marriott. I felt it was a perfect match between two of my loves; travel and application development!”

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Devona joined the company 11 years ago as a consultant project manager on the web team after having worked in application development in the banking and government sectors.

marriott global tech leader Devona career story

Courtesy of Devona B.

“I later shifted to the application team as a Senior Project Manager — or Scrum Master — where my team was instrumental in the initial re-imaging of the application which has evolved into what is now known as the Marriott Bonvoy app,” she says.

After working on that project, Devona was hungry to learn more about the backend systems that support those applications, so she began looking for internal opportunities that would allow her to add that experience to her resume. Eventually, she found an opportunity to develop her skillsets with data platform management as a member of the Data Personalization team.

Learn more about Devona’s journey to her IT dream job in her own words below.

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

It’s been almost 10 years since that initial interview (LOL), but I remember being stressed out about the STAR application process. However, I received so much guidance and input from the Human Resources lead/team as well as my manager at the time around how to navigate the process and what to expect that when I walked into the interview, I was stress-free and armed with everything I needed to just be myself and share my background.

I always keep my resume up to date, perhaps that comes from being a consultant for so many years. I would encourage a potential candidate seeking a role like mine to always keep your resume updated with your current experience and background so that when the opportunity presents itself you have all the details you need on hand and then you can; in a stress free manner, just focus on being your true self and sharing why you would be a great fit for the role.

marriott global tech leader Devona career story

Courtesy of Devona B.

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

  • The importance of working with a company that has a healthy work culture. The people I’ve worked with across IT are great and Marriott is a company that truly cares about its people and their total wellbeing, and it reflects in the people who are passionate about the work but also supportive. They’ve become like an extended family.
  • I joined Marriott as a self-professed workaholic, and I learned the importance of having a work culture that allows for a healthy balance between work life and personal life.
  • Great leadership is also a huge asset, and I was not accustomed to accessing great leaders who are so in tune and genuinely care about those who report up to them. There’s nothing like it!

How has Marriott supported your growth and given you the opportunity to try new things?

Marriott has absolutely supported my growth over the years. My teams have changed but that support has been consistent in each role. So much so that I am now a candidate for my graduate degree in Business Analytics and my team and leaders within my team are supporting me at every turn.

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

In addition to the re-imaging of the mobile app to the new Bonvoy app, I’ve had the opportunity to work on multiple initiatives pertaining consumer privacy across the Marriott footprint.

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

The most recent and largest project to date has been the migration of core data to a new platform. The new platform presents a near real-time interface and a cleaner way of managing data across this and other related systems.

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

We’re introducing opportunities to provide near real-time data sharing and management as well as investigating new ways to improve the customer experience by applying new technologies.

marriott global tech leader Devona career story

Courtesy of Devona B.

How have you witnessed your impact globally?

When we visit properties, and the customers are using the new app and the changes we initiated on the Mobile team, that brings me a lot of pride!

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

It’s a very family oriented, supportive culture that is in tune with the times and what’s happening in the industry at large. In my career there is no match. I’ve worked in several industries and the culture here at Marriott is why I believe associates stay and those who have left often seek to return.

marriott global tech leader Devona career story

Courtesy of Devona B.

Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott.

The moment that stands out is right now. I am pursuing my MBA in Business Analytics with Georgetown University, and my team is supporting me in so many ways, from my VP providing a referral to also helping me manage my workload so that I can focus on my education.

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

Everyday honestly! Because I find that I can reach out across teams and associates are very willing to share information and knowledge and pitch in to provide guidance to help you succeed. But the greatest moments were when my mother passed away in 2016 and my father in 2022, my team supported me each time. They helped ensure I had enough time away from work and sent flowers and cards. I’ll never forget how they came together for me in such a dark and stressful time. But that’s what community does!

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I use the Marriott Explore Rate and travel discounts every time I travel. I have been in love with the Marriott brand even before I joined as an associate. Choosing another brand to stay with just doesn’t sit well with me, I am always on the hunt for a Marriott brand when I travel, and I share it with my family and friends and encourage them to take advantage as well.

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