One of my first jobs in high school was at a hotel with an indoor waterpark that was rebranding to be a DoubleTree by Hilton. I worked as a Lifeguard, Birthday Party Hostess, Arcade Attendant, and even dressed up as the mascot. I loved working directly with our guests to make an impact on their stay. I grew up traveling with my family often, so being in the hotel felt natural to me. During college breaks I took on Operations jobs at the hotel such as the Front Desk, Room Service, and Restaurant Hostess. After five years at the hotel, I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing.
At this point, I knew I wanted a career in hospitality. I applied for a job that landed me on the sales team at that same hotel. During this time I decided to go back to school online for my Master’s degree in Tourism Administration. I spent lunch breaks and evenings working toward my degree. The classes were exciting because they all related to a field I cared about- travel. I loved the team and the hotel, but learned that sales wasn’t for me.
Hilton, being the large company that it is, offers all kinds of opportunities in every corner of the world. A mutual friend connected me with the marketing team at the Waldorf Astoria New York, one of my favorite hotels! A Social Media Manager job was available and I was determined to land that opportunity. I used the power of social media to connect on LinkedIn with alumni from my college and sorority who had any connection to Hilton or Waldorf Astoria. I asked for interview tips and references. When I finally learned I had landed my dream job, I couldn’t have been more excited! In high school my classmates voted me as “Most Likely to be a Townie” as my senior superlative because I was the third generation of my family to grow up in my town. I had every intention of sticking around and continuing the tradition, but this opportunity was everything I needed to change my mind. So, I packed up my belongings and moved from my small town outside of Boston to Midtown Manhattan.
I quickly learned that I wasn’t a city girl, but loved the work I was doing as it combined some of my favorite things together. Once again, I packed up my belongings and moved to South Florida to manage social media at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. While I was living in Boca Raton I completed my Master’s degree and felt I was ready to take on the next challenge in my career. While I was only in Florida for ten months, I decided to pick up and move to Dallas, Texas to work for Hilton’s corporate social media team. I’ve been on this team for three and a half years now and continue to grow every day. I now get to help all of our hotels worldwide and our 14 brands with their social media strategies. Hilton has given me the opportunity to live in four states and travel the world to meet with hotels about social media. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! My best advice to anyone looking for a career in hospitality is to get experience working in hotel operations early in your career. You will learn things that neither corporate hospitality experience nor textbooks could teach you about the industry, and you will carry those learnings throughout your career.