I’d sold my little red Vauxhall Nova, bought a round the world ticket and spent 10 wonderful months where I
worked, lived and played in some of the biggest and most exotic cities in the world. Only one thing allowed me to do this – the hospitality industry! I’m from a small village in North Wales called Llanrug. I left school with disappointing A-Levels results and was unsure of which career I wanted to pursue. The work I did and the people I met reassured me that hospitality was a great career prospect. It was exciting, vibrant, unpredictable and different. By the time I returned I knew that a career in hospitality was for me.
I completed a HND in Hospitality Management at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff (UWIC)
which I then topped up to a BA (Hons).
Having graduated with a 2:1, I was accepted onto the Marriott International Graduate Program and placed
at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel.
Marriott’s graduate program, now referred to as the Voyage Program, is considered one of the best in the
country and it’s operated throughout the UK, Ireland, Middle East and Africa.
When I applied they had over 2,500 applicants of which they chose fifty. The recruitment process is tough and includes a psychometric test, a phone interview, a seven hour assessment centre and two final face to face interviews.
It’s a twenty-four month process in which graduates are put onto training programs whilst holding demanding
roles within the business. Marriott look for an energetic and enthusiastic learner. The focus is on maturing young talent and the investment over the 24 months is focused on people management, business
acumen and leadership skills. Applicants need to have a degree (not necessarily in Hospitality) and must
be able to show that they want to learn. The program, although primarily focused on operational roles (Front
Office, Food & Beverage, Housekeeping) does also offer opportunities in Finance, Sales, Marketing & Human Resources.
In my current position I manage a team of 32 associates. I look after a 130 seat restaurant, 110 seat bar and sun terrace as well as the operations of room service and mini-bars across 184 bedrooms.