marriott global tech associate Stephanie A. career story
Courtesy of Stephanie A.

Name: Stephanie A.
Position: Manager, Technology Strategic Partner Management
Location: Dallas
Dream destination: Florence. Since I was a little girl, it’s been my dream to travel to Italy!
Drink or treat of choice: I am an Espresso Martini girl

Even before joining Marriott, many of our associates are familiar with the company’s famed core value of Putting People First, and when they officially join the company as an associate, they learn this is not just a slogan. And that’s how it felt for Stephanie.

“I wanted to work for Marriott International because I heard great things about the culture and I saw Marriott’s volunteer work in the community,” recalls Stephanie, who worked in quality and risk management prior to joining. “I applied to Marriott because I wanted to change the scope of work I was doing. Marriott provided work-life balance and time for me to earn my master’s degree in accounting. It created a space for me to thrive and work with a global team. After working with Marriott for one year, I brought my brother into the company!”

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Stephanie has now been with Marriott for nearly two decades, working across a number of different departments and positions: first joining the Internal Audit Department in 2011; then moving into Global Tech in 2018 as a member of the Vendor Relations department; and, after the pandemic, becoming a part of the Technology Strategic Partner Management Group, where she executes vendor governance processes.

“My career has changed with each role because I have had the opportunity to work across different disciplines,” says Stephanie on her internal mobility at Marriott.

While Stephanie has had an impressive professional journey at Marriott, what she’s been most impacted by are the charity events and social projects she’s been involved with through the company’s Serve 360 initiative.

While Stephanie has had an impressive professional journey at Marriott, what she’s been most impacted by are the charity events and social projects she’s been involved with through the company’s Serve 360 initiative.

“One of the large-scale projects I’ve had the pleasure of working on is supporting the Bridges from School to Work program. Each year, this program focuses on empowering people with disabilities by bringing them into the workforce. This project includes fundraising and coordinating participating vendors and associates for a gala event to celebrate and hear the heartfelt stories of people in the program,” she explains. This initiative was created by the Marriott Foundation in 1989, and it focuses on helping young adults with disabilities find meaningful jobs during and after they complete high school. “This program is one of the most rewarding projects I have had the pleasure to work on here at Marriott.”

Learn more about her Marriott journey in her own words below.

What are your best tips for candidates who want a role like yours?

I recommend that candidates research the company and learn about the culture when applying for any position. I also recommend that candidates apply for stretch roles so they have room to grow and enhance their skills.

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

  • The importance of diversity. Working with a diverse group of people brings fresh ideas and a wide range of talent to the table.
  • The value of anticipating the needs of your internal and external clients to ensure recurring business.
  • The importance of networking with coworkers outside of your department. I have friends in audit, finance, legal, and other areas I have worked with over the years, and we still bounce ideas off each other and support each other in our careers.
marriott global tech associate Stephanie A. career story

Courtesy of Stephanie A.

How would you describe Marriott’s culture?

Inclusive and welcoming. Marriott is a safe place to learn and to take on new responsibilities without fear of making a mistake. The associates are willing to help you learn almost anything and a hands-on experience is just a conversation away. For example, I spent my 17-year Marriott career at headquarters, so I was curious about the property experience. I spoke to my Senior Vice President at the time, and he made arrangements for me to shadow every department at a property at several Washington, DC hotels. It was amazing to work with housekeeping one day and loss prevention another day. It was an invaluable experience that gave me a new perspective on our role at HQ.

Describe a moment you felt supported at Marriott.

2016 was an extremely rough year for my family. I lost my mother and my grandmother during the same year. My team provided amazing support for my family that year and offered to share vacation days with me and sent gifts and wonderful notes to my kids. One of my coworkers traveled from Maryland to Dallas for my mom’s funeral; it was the best feeling ever! All the cards and well wishes left me speechless. The level of support we received during this challenging time was unmatched! I felt loved and like I was part of something much bigger.

When have you felt like part of a community at Marriott?

Every year, Marriott has a Spirit to Serve program and all associates volunteer globally in the community. Walking into the headquarters parking lot and looking at a sea of associates with matching shirts getting into buses is a great feeling. Over the years, I have participated in projects that include everything from painting trees to building houses and it feels great to give back and contribute to the community. My favorite Spirit to Serve project was making artwork for the Children’s Miracle Network; it was fun, therapeutic, and nice to know kids would enjoy our efforts during their recovery.

How has Marriott supported your growth and allowed you to try new things?

When I first started and I learned more about the work the auditors did, I wanted to work on property audits and compliance work, but I did not have the experience. I asked one of my Vice Presidents to show me what to do and she allowed me to shadow the auditors and sent me to a few properties to work for a few days to learn the ropes. Within one year, I earned my master’s in accounting while in the department and was able to work as a guest auditor on domestic and international property audits.

marriott global tech associate Stephanie A. career story

Courtesy of Stephanie A.

You recently participated in AfroTech – what was that experience like?

Attending the AfroTech conference was a valuable and amazing experience. Sharing my career path at Marriott with potential candidates was invigorating. The conference also provided an opportunity to meet and network with other Marriott associates from other technology groups across the country. I made lifelong connections with people from all over the world! The Marriott team at the AfroTech conference was inspirational and worked together extremely well. I learned a lot about my coworkers’ roles and their careers at Marriott. A good number of us bonded over our love of football and watched a game together after the conference.

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

One of the projects I worked on was the loyalty program account combined task force when we acquired Starwood. This project included combining legacy Starwood points with Marriott points for end users. I also worked on the customer engagement task force responding to Marriott Bonvoy members. This project was exciting because it was the first time I was given the opportunity to work on the property side of the house. All these experiences allowed me to work outside of my comfort zone and collaborate with people outside of my role.

How have you used the Marriott Explore Rate?

I use the Marriott Explore Rate when I travel on road trips driving back and forth from Texas to Maryland, on international trips, or if there is inclement weather in Texas and we lose power at home.

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