Career Connections

Sydney Richardson

Major: Hospitality Management

Minor/option/emphasis: Event Management

Company/Organization: Marriott International
Company/Organization website:
Destination: Washington, DC
Timeframe: Summer

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
As a Rooms Operations Voyager, I am essentially a manager in training in both the Front Office and the Housekeeping department of the hotel. I will have the opportunity to do a 6-month rotation in both of these areas. At the Front Office, I am an active leader amongst our team and help to manage day-to-day activities of the operation whether it be related to scheduling, checking guests in/out, or managing guest issues. When I complete my rotation in Housekeeping, I will learn about the day-to-day departmental tasks as well as how to manage the scheduling for the Housekeeping team. Another part of my position includes completing the Voyager curriculum. This includes different management and leadership trainings through both online and in-person courses.

I accomplished...
Currently, my greatest accomplishment so far from my experience has been being able to fully run and manage a shift in the Front Office. There are many different tasks that need to be completed throughout a shift, and I feel that I have a good understanding of what these are. Also, I have become confident in my ability to lead and manage the team throughout the shift, even when the unexpected occurs. My skills in problem solving and handling difficult situations have both increased greatly as well.

I learned...
There have been a couple things that I have picked up on throughout my experience. To begin with, I have had to re-teach myself about time management. Throughout my time at Iowa State, I felt that I had a good grasp on time management and balancing my duties. Although this was the case, I felt that I had re-learn this skill in my current role. I’ve learned that my skills, such as time management, need to be adaptable and flexible to whatever role that I am in. This has been quite the challenge for me and a great learning experience as well. Along with this, I have also learned how often the unexpected happens within a hotel. I have learned to be adaptable and problem solve, as situations often arise that are completely unexpected.

Advice for others...
My advice for future students is to get out of your comfort zone. With the position that I chose, I moved across the country to an unfamiliar place and job. My role as a Rooms Operations Voyager forces me out of my comfort zone every single day. It can make me stressed and is often challenging, but I also don’t think I have ever been as rewarded. I have learned more information in this position in the last couple months than I would have thought possible. I have had the opportunity to explore a new area and meet new friends. Although it can be scary, pushing yourself is the best way to see yourself grow.

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