Not Your Average Intern Advice

Eleven years ago my dad said “wouldn’t it be cool to work here” while we were vacationing at a Marriott in Myrtle Beach. This stuck with me, and to think I have just completed my sales internship on the West Coast with this same company makes me incredibly grateful that I was, in fact, able to pursue this dream! Looking back on the past few months,  I am thankful to say I have been many places and gained a lot of valuable insight on the sales field. It is with my final article that I would like to share some advice I have received and implemented during my time at Marriott.

1) Always ask questions 

Asking questions is not a bad thing! It shows that you are interested in doing things correctly and want to learn more about the job. There is no way to know everything right off the bat either. This is an inherent way that employers can gauge your interest in the position or willingness to learn new things.

2) Keep an ongoing list of your projects throughout the summer

This is the piece of advice I want to HIGHLIGHT THE MOST. I started doing this at my internship last summer and it helped tremendously. It does take effort to write down each STAR scenario you experienced at work, each project you did, or each skill you perfected. However, I promise it will be worth it 6 months later when you try to remember the exact scenario or dollar amount you were working with, for an interview.

3) Be a team player

The impact you make isn’t solely what “project-legacy” you leave behind for the office after you are done. To me, it is important to be a team player by helping out in the little ways. By this, I mean being the person who others can count on to lend a helping hand, even if it is not in your area. Be the person who takes out the trash when you see it is full instead of leaving it for someone else. Be the person to clean the fridge out before the weekend without being told to.  Be the unsung hero. Yeah, these tasks maybe aren’t the most glamorous but they are really appreciated by everyone else you work with and will get noticed by the right people. At my internship, being a team player in this sense involved helping out with the wellness committee (executing walks around the campus, sending emails on their behalf, etc.) as well as fundraising for our NextGen Business Council’s charitable efforts.

4) Add value to where you’re working

This one is pretty self-explanatory. I touched on this in my last articles but companies want people who will add value to the company. They want that employee to make the office better off than it was before. An easy way to add value is by completing a meaningful project but you also want to socially add value too (which I will mention below).

5) Don’t forget to have fun!

Employers do not only want productive employees but it is desirable to  have people they can socially connect with too. You want to be memorable and likable. Grab lunch with a coworker, talk to the people working near you, or go to the company picnic. CREATE MEMORIES. Just because you are only there for an internship doesn’t mean you can’t make those connections. At Marriott, us interns left our fun mark by using the toaster oven to make s’mores during our breaks. A lot of people caught on. Due to this, prior to our departure, the office set up a permanent s’mores station commemorating our breaks so that others may enjoy this activity in the future. We also inaugurated a contest for one of our charity projects to pie one of the office leaders in the face with a whipped cream pie. The office really enjoyed that event and will continue it into the future. We made $400 just from that initiative!

6) Do the job you hate

I have had several conversations with the leaders of my office about this topic. Many of them never thought they could have gotten to their director role without doing the job that was not particularly on their radar. They told me to try that job for at least a year. If you end up liking it: great, stick to it! Otherwise, it is only a year and you now have more experience if nothing else. It was by diversifying their experience that they were able to be qualified for their leadership roles. Be open to opportunity.

7) Gratitude is the attitude

Please say thank you whenever possible (especially to your housekeeper)! This really hit home when I worked with the housekeeping department. It was a backbreaking job to do, even for one day. These workers really appreciate it when people show them gratitude. Even outside of housekeeping, this is a good mindset to have because it puts others first. A thankful heart is a happy heart.

In short, this internship has been very beneficial for me in several ways. Through it, I have been able to see the beautiful state of California, experience the operations and atmosphere of the different Marriott hotels (including the Ritz!), and learn more about how sales functions within the hospitality industry. There was never a dull moment, the benefits even as an intern were incredible, and it was good to know that my project was meaningful since it will continue to be used by the office starting Q4. If you are ever thinking about pursuing a job with this company, I highly recommend it and am happy to provide my insights with you from my experience. Thank you for following along with me this summer! If you ever want to grab coffee or chat, I am happy to set something up ( :).


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