A Conversation with Marriott International
The month of November is an exciting time for DECA members all across the globe. November is not only DECA Month, but also National Career Development Month. What better way to celebrate than to interview a successful HR professional, longtime DECA partner, Marriott employee, and a member of DECA’s National Advisory Board?
Diana Hindi is currently the Director of Human Resources for The Phoenician, A Luxury Collection Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Her career with Marriott started over 30 years ago in Anaheim, California when she was hired as a front desk agent while going to college. Since then, she has had the pleasure of working at amazing resorts in Hawaii, San Antonio, Palm Desert and several in Arizona.
She is passionate about helping people learn and grow and gets excited seeing people obtain positions/jobs they are interested in. Diana first became involved with DECA as a volunteer judge for association-level competitive events and enjoys helping students learn more about the hospitality industry.
Here is what she would like to share with DECA members preparing for their futures, based on the insight and knowledge she has gained over the course of her incredible career!
Q: As an employer, what are the most important skills you are looking for in someone entering the workforce?
A: Students entering the workforce for the first time need to be organized as there is a lot of balancing between school, work, family and other commitments. The other skills that are important include the ability to communicate with others, teamwork and flexibility.
Q: What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your professional career?
A: The biggest lesson I have learned is that no matter how much you like to “plan” your day/week/year, there are always other “emergencies” that pop up and sometimes stop you from completing your goals. So, always have a back-up plan on how you are going to get projects done when those emergencies arise.
Q: What advice would you give high school students on how to plan for their future careers?
A: Seek information and explore various career opportunities. Don’t feel like you are “stuck” – there is so much out there! Do something that you are passionate about because you spend way too much time at work to be bored or unhappy.
Q: What is the most important thing a high school student can do to set themself up for future success?
A: If you can manage your homework and extra-curricular activities, try to get a job—even if it is a part-time gig. This will help you learn how to tackle workplace issues like time management, teamwork and communication skills.
Q: How has the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) affected the 21st Century workplace?
A: Safety has been the number one priority in our workplace today and adapting all of our processes from pre-COVID days. We want to continue to provide luxury service to our guests but how do we connect with them behind a mask and from six feet away? At The Phoenician, we added “Smile Cards” for all of our associates. We wear a badge that has our picture without our mask and a bit of information about what makes us smile. It is a great ice-breaker with our guests! Finally, how do we keep our associates engaged, as they are working harder now than in the past? It is important to ensure our associates feel appreciated and still have the communication, and training that they need to do their job. Daily meetings and training sessions have changed because of the safety concerns of having all of our associates in a room together. That means more “virtual” meetings/training sessions and the option of one-on-one meetings to allow for questions and development.
Make sure to follow Marriott International on LinkedIn and on Instagram at @marriottintl for more tips on how to take your career to the #NextLevel!