marriott product manager - nina career story
Courtesy of Nina C.

Name: Nina C.
Position: Senior Project Manager
Location: Indianapolis
Dream destination: France
Drink or treat of choice: Fruit smoothies and cold Diet Coke

The role of a project manager is super critical when it comes to technology. Just as an orchestra conductor guides the masterful musicians to deliver a stellar and harmonious performance, a project manager enables and steers an expert team of technologists to deliver their best work.

That analogy is especially fitting for this story as Nina, a senior project manager at Marriott, works across the property management system that is used in our hotels globally, called OPERA.

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Because Nina’s team works on a product used by thousands of Marriott hotels around the world, she’s been able to very clearly witness the impact of her work.

“I started working here right in the middle of a major multi-year rollout of a new OPERA version to our hotels. This offered lots of great improvements and new functionality to the users and included new hardware as well,” says Nina. “I have managed the product team side of this rollout since, and we celebrated the project end a couple of months ago!”

marriott product manager - nina career story

Courtesy of Nina C.

That opportunity to see your impact and to build what’s next in travel is what draws many of those in the tech field, like Nina (who joined just last year in 2022), to Marriott — it’s an incredibly exciting time to be here.

In addition to the boundless professional opportunities, Nina says she was drawn to Marriott for the work-life balance, competitive salaries and the employee-focused culture, which is why she was especially excited to learn of Marriott’s Associate Resource Groups, or ARGs.

“As a queer woman, I am especially interested in the LGBTQ+ ARG,” says Nina. “It is a relief to work somewhere that values this part of my identity as something that creates a diverse and strong workforce and makes Marriott better.”

Nina works remotely from her home in the Indianapolis area, and when she’s not plugging away at her day-to-day work responsibilities, she can likely be found with a furry friend nearby. Rescuing senior animals has become an incredible passion for her and her spouse.

marriott product manager - nina career story

Courtesy of Nina C.

“My wife and I started adopting dogs by rescuing a senior chihuahua in 2016, Violet, and then rescued three more chihuahuas within a year (Tommy, Dizzy, and Lou). We love the lower energy, couch potato vibes the seniors have, and we are both well equipped to handle their medical challenges and come to terms with the short time we have with them,” says Nina. “Our goal is always to just make them comfortable and feel only love in whatever time they have with us.”

Learn more about Nina’s own experience as a Marriott project manager, what her interview process was like, and why she’s a fan of the company’s corporate culture.

What made you want to work for Marriott?

I knew Marriott HQ is known to offer more competitive salaries, promote work-life balance, and have an employee-focused culture. I was drawn to the effort put in to find extremely competent and skilled resources, which would translate to a solid, effective team.

marriott product manager - nina career story

Courtesy of Nina C.

What was your interview process like?

I went through three official interviews — two with the direct manager for the role, and one with their leader. There was an emphasis on the «STAR» method of answering questions, so I made sure to practice ahead of time using this structure. I think this really helped me appear prepared, calm, and confident. I was asked to speak about a few key projects I had worked on in the past, and it was helpful to have a list ready in front of me of the ones that I felt were most significant.

Any tips for candidates who want a role like yours?

I also highly recommend researching Marriott’s mission and goals beforehand and practicing speaking about your past roles and skillset multiple times so you’re ready for each interview.

marriott product manager - nina career story

Courtesy of Nina C.

How has Marriott given you the opportunity to try new things?

I am encouraged to talk to my leadership when I feel like there is something new I’d like to try.

What are the biggest learnings you’ve picked up from your time at Marriott?

  1. It pays in more ways than just financially to work for a company that truly shows how it values you.
  2. Positive change is possible when you’re surrounded by colleagues and leaders who share your professional values and are open and willing to listen to feedback.
  3. It’s important to ask for what you need, whether it’s a bit of information to move a project forward or help with adjusting your work to better meet your interests.

How would you describe the culture?

Marriott values their employees and makes a point of showing this. At HQ, there was no concern with me being a fully remote employee, and I am still welcome to come into the office if I am in town. They pay competitive salaries and offer great hotel discounts for employees, as well as matching 401k contributions and an ESPP. Under the Global Technology umbrella, there is an overall culture of working as one team. People are quick to help each other out and generally very friendly since we all have the same goals.

marriott product manager - nina career story

Courtesy of Nina C.

When have you felt supported at Marriott?

As I was going through the death of a family member, my small team immediately stepped up to cover me when I was out and filled me in when I got back. They all did this without me even asking and didn’t leave it to one person to handle my whole workload. I saw a similar thing happen when I was first hired and a colleague was out unexpectedly — our team showed me how supportive they are when one of us needs help, while also still working to get me acclimated at the same time.

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I took a quick vacation in November last year and got to use my discount in Tennessee. In the last year though, my mom has been able to benefit the most and has been so happy to take a number of trips without breaking the bank!

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