Interns to Team Members: How Hilton Became Home

At Hilton, we believe in investing in Team Members to help them grow their careers. One way we do this is through our internship programs. To learn more about how an internship at Hilton can help jumpstart a career in hospitality, we connected with three Team Members who started their Hilton journey as interns – Brennan Veys, Director Corporate Strategy, Nandini Chakrabarty, Corporate Rotational Analyst, and Alexander Shockley, Corporate Responsibility Coordinator. These three Team Members are testaments to how a 10-week summer internship can lead to a passionate and successful career. Read on to learn more about their career journeys and advice for success!

Tell us about your journey from intern to Team Member and your position today.

BV: I joined as an MBA summer intern in 2012 and then joined Hilton full-time in 2013 as a Corporate Strategy Senior Analyst. I’ve remained within the group for the past six years, and now I’m Director of Corporate Strategy. I work primarily on growth strategy, so my job is to support and implement developments that will lead to long-term improvement for Hilton.

NC: I started out as a Digital Analytics intern under the Data and Analytics team in June of 2018. After the summer, I remotely interned part-time while finishing college. This past June, I started full-time as a Rotational Analyst, meaning that I work to analyze customer behavior through data and analytics.

AS: I began at Hilton as an intern in the Corporate Responsibility department. Upon completing my internship, the coordinator role opened on the team. After finishing my senior year, I started working full-time as the Corporate Responsibility Coordinator where I work to implement Hilton’s corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose.

What led you to intern at Hilton?

BV: I was seeking a strategy or finance role with a large hospitality company. Hilton offered what felt like the best combination of a well-run intern program, an interesting position, the opportunity to have an impact, and a sense of “fit” that I didn’t find elsewhere.

NC: I decided to intern at Hilton because they’re one of the few companies that invests in their interns to expand their skills and become more competitive employees. I truly felt I could cultivate my skills in ways I wasn’t given the opportunity to do before.

AS: I always had a love for the hotel industry and after on-property jobs and internships, I decided to gain experience in a corporate setting. I was even able to take my desire to work at corporate further by combining it with my love for social and environmental impact, being placed in the Corporate Responsibility Department.

Nandini interned remotely while she finished her senior year of college.

What did you learn in your internship that still helps you today?

BV: I’ve learned how to be flexible and proactive in my career!  Our team is fairly small, so when someone left just before my internship started, the team needed me to step into what was much more like a full-time role. While this wasn’t a “traditional” internship, it offered me the opportunity to demonstrate the impact I could have.

NC: The most important lesson I learned during my internship was how to truly be hospitable. The idea of promoting hospitality always seemed like it was meant for the customer-facing employees. However, I quickly realized that everyone is extremely hospitable to one another in the office. It opened my eyes to an environment built on teamwork and togetherness rather than competition.

AS: A simple “hello” with a smile can go a long way – especially at a hospitality company! It is easy to get lost in the hustle of one’s everyday job. Don’t be afraid to say hello and flash a quick smile. Even if you don’t know the person, it leaves a lasting impression and may even make their day.

What would you change, if anything, about your career path?

BV: I have been fortunate to have opportunities for impact and advancement within the Corporate Strategy team thus far in my career, but I anticipate and look forward to exploring other functions at Hilton, as well.

NC: I wouldn’t change anything about my career path. Every step of the way led me to the incredible job I have now, and I learned an infinite amount.

AS: I’m still taking my first steps down my career path, but for the most part I wouldn’t change anything thus far. I do wish that I had the chance to travel between graduating college and starting work, but when the opportunity arose to work at Hilton, I knew I couldn’t pass it up.

Brennan was drawn to the Hilton intern program because he always wanted to work for a large hospitality company.

What advice would you give to the current and future Hilton interns?

BV: Ask to take on more– meeting the expectations of your manager is important but identifying an area of need and asking to tackle it in addition to your responsibilities demonstrates initiative above and beyond expectations. Secondly, take full advantage of the activities and opportunities of the intern program itself, because it will offer you access that you won’t necessarily have at all points in your career.

NC: Talk to everyone you can and write everything down. If you’re even a little interested in someone else’s profession, I would reach out to that person. Every time you are in a meeting or talking to someone, write everything down. Most importantly, write all your questions and confusions down. You can ask your manager these questions later, and it will help you develop a better understanding of the position and department.

AS: Embrace the opportunity to meet the amazing Team Members at Hilton. Hilton truly is a great place to work and our Team Members offer unique perspectives from diverse backgrounds. Don’t hesitate to ask someone to coffee to learn more about what they do for the company – you’re here to learn!

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