How to Get Hired in Marriott International’s Finance Department
As a finance professional in the hospitality industry, Steven Dowd, FCMA, CGMA, Chief Financial Officer of Marriott International St. Regis Dubai, The Palm in the United Arab Emirates, has worked for a diverse range of hotels luxury and boutique hotels and major resorts around the world. He left his home in the UK for Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, where he has spent the past 23 years.
For nearly ten years, he worked in the finance function of Marriott International, where he led the team that opened the JW Marriott Marquis (the tallest hotel in the world), and then oversaw approximately 30 high-end hotels in the UAE. Fortune consistently lists Marriott International as one of the best companies to work for. Currently, 86% of employees in the organization say it is a good place to work.
If you’re a finance professional looking to work with Marriott International, read Dowd’s tips for landing a job in the corporate finance function.
Describe your ideal candidate for an entry-level position in Marriott International’s finance department.
Steven Dowd: An ideal candidate would be either a recent graduate who has studied or majored in a financial discipline and is seeking a career as a management accountant, or someone who works in hospitality and is interested in pursuing a career in finance. , having done some internal steps to get a short training exposure.
What are the top three hard skills your organization looks for in people who come to work for you at the entry level?
Soft : The top three technical skills would include a basic knowledge of spreadsheets, an understanding of computers and relevant technology, and a strong command of the English language (written and spoken).
What types of educational and/or professional experiences are helpful for people new to Marriott International?
Soft : We are looking for those who have studied finance or have a finance-related degree, those with cross-training experience across all functions, those who have completed an internship in the finance department, and those with previous experience in a company relevant to the role for which one is applying.
Describe your ideal candidate for a mid-level management position within the finance department.
Soft : An ideal candidate would be a graduate who has studied or majored in a financial discipline and is seeking a career as a management accountant, who has at least three years of experience in the finance department and who has shown willingness to train and learn from other areas. outside of their main role.
What are the top three technical skills your organization expects of people coming into leadership positions in the finance department?
Soft : The top three technical skills include intermediate spreadsheet skills, experience managing at least one subordinate including evaluating and achieving basic KPIs.
What soft skills do you think are important for people to succeed as employees of your company?
Soft : Important soft skills include active listening, attentiveness to the task at hand, working well within teams, and willingness to take on tasks (from time to time) that are outside their scope. main responsibilities.
Describe which type of employees best fits your company’s culture.
Soft : [They] are assertive and dedicated, have a desire to make a difference and leave a mark on the role for others to remember and consistently achieve core KPIs.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about working here?
Soft : Working with so many different nationalities and cultures is an enriching experience, but sometimes difficult. It takes patience to listen and understand another person’s culture, upbringing and point of view while working together. Everyone is different and will have a different way of achieving the same goal or task. Therefore, working with Marriott International requires the ability not to insist that someone complete tasks in an “A, B, C” way, but to enable someone to complete tasks and achieve goals. depending on the capacity of the person concerned.
How would you suggest a candidate prepare for a first interview with Marriott International?
Soft : I would recommend that they familiarize themselves with the background of the hotel they hope to work for, as well as the facilities it has available for guests. They should be able to speak confidently about the experience they have gained so far (even if it is just soft skills) and focus on the experiences most relevant to the position they are applying for . I encourage people to talk about how they hope to grow their careers at Marriott.
What are the red flags for you when hiring? Is there anything job applicants should avoid doing?
Soft : Some red flags may include speaking from experience (or only having experience) that is unrelated to the position one is applying for, not being able to explain changes in frequent jobs[s]and unrealistic salary expectations.
What is different or unique about your business or finance department that makes working with you particularly appealing?
Soft : Our company promotes internal mobility and employee development. A career-minded individual will be able to set their development goals and have the opportunity to gain experience and knowledge in other areas of work that will support their knowledge. We also support people from different disciplines, for example a waiter, who aspire to a career in finance, by offering cross-training opportunities that will lead to a permanent position.
What do you see changing within your department in the future with regards to recruitment and hiring?
Soft : We are now adapting to the current generation’s expectations of more diverse career growth, so instead of someone working in a specific role for two years before moving on to the next area for another two years, we are now supporting and offering more cross-training opportunities in different areas at an early stage. This should allow someone to move into a middle management or leadership position over a 3-4 year period instead of the traditional 5-6 year period.
— Hannah Pitstick is a freelance writer based in the United States. To comment on this article or suggest an idea for another article, contact Drew Adamek, FM senior editor of the magazine, Andrew.Adamek@aicpa-cima.com.