How to get hired in the financial department of Marriott International


As a finance professional in the hospitality industry, Steven Dowd, FCMA, CGMA, Director of Finance at Marriott International St. Regis Dubai, The Palm in the United Arab Emirates, has worked for a diverse range of luxury and boutique hotels and large resort complexes around the world. He left his home in the UK for Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, where he has spent the past 23 years.

For nearly ten years, he worked in the finance department of Marriott International, where he led the team that opened the JW Marriott Marquis (the world’s tallest hotel), and subsequently oversaw around 30 high-end branded hotels in UAE. Fortune regularly Marriott International lists among the best companies to work for. Currently, 86% of the organization’s employees say it’s a great place to work.

If you are a financial professional looking for work with Marriott International, read Dowd’s tips for getting a job in the company’s finance department.

Describe your ideal candidate for an entry-level position within 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 the hospitality industry and wishes to pursue a career in finance. finance, having taken a few internal steps to get a short exposure to the training.

What are the top three technical skills that your organization looks for in people who come to work for you at the entry level?

Dowd: The top three technical skills would include a basic knowledge of spreadsheets, an understanding of computers and relevant technologies, and a solid command of the English language (both written and spoken).

What types of educational and / or professional experiences are useful for people new to Marriott International?

Dowd: We are looking for people who have studied finance or have a finance related degree, those with cross-training experience across functions, people who have completed an internship in the finance department and those with experience. previous experience in a company relevant to the position for which you are applying.

Describe your ideal candidate for a middle management position in the finance department.

Dowd: 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, has at least three years of experience in the finance department, and has demonstrated their willingness to train and learn in other areas outside of their main role.

What are the top three technical skills that your organization expects from people who come to work in management roles within the finance department?

Dowd: The top three technical skills include intermediate spreadsheet skills, experience managing at least one subordinate that includes assessing and achieving key KPIs.

What soft skills do you think are important for people to be successful as employees in your business?

Dowd: Important soft skills include active listening, attention to the task at hand, good work on teams, and a willingness to take on tasks (occasionally) that are outside their primary responsibilities.

Describe the type of employees who best match your company’s culture.

Dowd: [They] are assertive and dedicated, have a desire to make a difference and leave a mark on the role of others to remember them, and consistently achieve key KPIs.

What’s the thing most people don’t know about working here?

Dowd: Working with so many different nationalities and cultures is such a rewarding experience, but sometimes difficult. It takes patience to listen to and understand another person’s culture, education, and perspective when working together. Everyone is different and will have a different way of achieving the same goal or the same task. Therefore, working with Marriott International requires the skill not to insist on someone performing tasks in an “A, B, C” manner, but to enable someone to perform tasks and achieve goals. depending on the capabilities of the person concerned.

How would you suggest a candidate prepare for a first interview with Marriott International?

Dowd: 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 for guests. They should be able to speak confidently about the experience they have gained so far (even if these are only soft skills) and focus on the experiences most relevant to the position for which they apply. I encourage people to talk about how they hope to grow their careers with Marriott.

What are the red flags for you when hiring? Is there anything that job applicants should avoid doing?

Dowd: Some red flags may include talking about an experience (or just having experience) that has nothing to do with the position you are applying for, not being able to explain the frequent job changes[s], and unrealistic salary expectations.

What is different or unique about your business or finance department that makes a job at home particularly appealing?

Dowd: Our company promotes internal movement and employee development. A career-conscious person will be able to define their development goals and will 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, offering them cross-training opportunities that will lead to a permanent position.

What do you see changing in your department in the future when it comes to recruiting and hiring?

Dowd: We are now adjusting to the expectations of the current generation of more diverse career growth, so instead of someone who works in a specific role for two years before moving to the next field for another two years, we support and propose now no more cross-training. opportunities in different fields at an early stage. This should allow someone to get 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 to suggest an idea for another article, contact Drew Adamek, FM principal editor of the magazine, at


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