Name: Diana F.
Position: Global Finance Fellow
School: University of Maryland, College Park
Dream destination: The United Kingdom
Drink or treat of choice: I’m from Cuba and we have a non-alcoholic drink called Malta that is brewed from barley, the same as beer (ironically, I hate beer) — that’s my favorite. As for alcoholic drinks, I must recommend my top choices: mojitos, piña coladas and daiquiris.
Last fall, Diana found herself sitting in the audience of a guest speaker panel at her business school (University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, to be precise) listening to executives from Marriott give an overview of life at the hospitality company, its culture, and what it’s like to be an associate. Suddenly, Diana knew where she needed to be.
“The way they were talking about the company, its values and even about Mr. Marriott, made me realize that I wanted to be part of a company — if not Marriott, another one — where I could speak proudly of it, as they were doing that day,” recalls Diana.
Diana came to the U.S. from Cuba last year to pursue her master’s degree in supply chain management. While in Havana, she worked as the manager of her family’s boutique hotel — so hospitality is close to her heart.
“I really loved meeting people from all over the world and helping them enjoy their stay in the city,” says Diana.
Fast forward to January, when it came time to start applying for summer internships, and Diana promptly went to the Marriott Careers site to apply for the HQ Fellowship/Internship Program.
“Marriott was my first choice,” says Diana. “I wanted to continue my path in hospitality at one of the best companies in the world. Luckily, I was accepted and now I’m working in the Global Technology Procurement department, which is very related to what I’m studying.”
At Marriott, graduate student interns, like Diana, are called fellows. Learn more about Diana’s fellowship experience, in her own words, below.
What does your Marriott fellowship mean to you?
I’m an international student from Cuba, so the fact that I’m working, for the first time, in an American company as global as Marriott, it’s, so far, the highlight of my life. I take this internship very seriously. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to introduce myself to the job market, especially in the hospitality industry which I love. It’s the moment to learn everything I can from my colleagues and fellow interns and to keep developing my skills set.
Why did you choose Marriott?
I was actually accepted by another company, with better pay and located closer to home, but I was absolutely sure I wanted to work for Marriott. The company’s culture, its values and the possibilities to grow as a professional here were too important for me.
What makes Marriott stand out?
Working directly with people is complicated, especially in the hospitality industry, because we have numerous subjective factors to measure our satisfaction with the hotel, the service, the staff, but that’s what makes the job interesting and different every day. If you love this industry like I do, you want to work for a company that’s constantly trying to improve the customer’s experience at their properties and that focuses on the service quality, while at the same time prioritizing the needs of its employees. A company that creates an environment where both customers and employees feel that they are listened to and respected, where they work together with the community and where everyone feels welcome. Marriott does that impeccably.
How has the program impacted your own career aspirations?
This internship has been my first experience in a company with global operations. I sincerely would love to continue in the hospitality industry because I really like it and Marriott has given me the possibility to learn a little more about it, not only in the United States, but worldwide. I’ve loved this program so much that I would love to be back once I graduate in December, but who knows?
Where are you hoping your Marriott internship takes you?
It would be great if I could stay working here after my graduation in December, but I’m not really focused on that. I love the hospitality industry, so I would like to stay in that sector, specifically in Procurement because I’m studying for my master’s in supply chain management, and that’s an area that I really like.
For now, I’m just hoping to learn everything I can, not only in the role I have today, but about all the different areas here at HQ and about Marriott in general.
What’s next for you?
This fall, I’m going to be back to school for my last semester of my masters, I’ll graduate in December and start applying for full time jobs. Hopefully, by that time, Marriott will have an opening that I can apply to and see if I can be back at the company. But before that, once the internship is over, I’m going to travel somewhere and use the fantastic Marriott discounts before they expire!