Career in focus: Michelle Scott
Michelle Scott, Director of Sales & Marketing, Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay
1. What does your role involve and how long have you been in your current position?
I’ve been at Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay since February, 2017, coming on board just before the resort’s opening in April, 2017. My role is varied; achieving the hotel’s sales and revenue goals, ensuring the team deliver our brand promise and the hotel is positioned correctly in the market, ensuring it has the right buzz around it — we recently hosted the Bachelorette 2017 finale.
2. How did you start out in your career? Were you always destined to work in the travel industry?
I started working in a small hotel in Newcastle, NSW when I was 17, working my way from the restaurant, to front office and into events. I left the industry briefly, however I returned after only a few months; travel and tourism is an important part of my lifestyle, so having the ability to work and travel is perfect for me.
3. Did you complete formal qualifications, and do you think they are important?
I studied a Diploma of Hospitality Management and an Advanced Diploma of International Hotel Management. Most recently I completed a Digital Marketing Diploma to enhance my skills; marketing is a rapidly changing space. For me, the tourism industry is one where you can work your way up, however formal education sets you apart and gives you good grounding and business acumen.
4. What do you love about your job?
It’s challenging but also very rewarding. One of Marriott International’s mottos is that ‘success is never final’, and I love being part of a team that continues to strive for results.
5. What were some of the greatest challenges you’ve faced in your career?
Some of the greatest and ongoing challenges I’ve experienced are external factors that lead to fewer people travelling — the 2008 GFC and September 11 are two examples. It’s these times where you still have to balance what’s happening in the world with business priorities and looking after the staff that are employed at the hotel. It definitely makes you stronger, smarter and more resilient!
6. What factors were central to your success?
I think my persistence and positivity have been key. Hotels are a competitive environment and you need to position yourself with a resilient mind and positive attitude. A strong network and mentors also help too.
7. Did you have a mentor, and if so, how did you find them?
I never had a formal mentor. However, over my time with Marriott International, I have worked with some fantastic leaders that have become a strong influence during my career. They’ve helped me to ask different questions and develop innovative ways of doing things; it’s great to benchmark yourself and have a rounded view.
8. What are the keys to good business?
I think it’s about how you do business, and being able to make personal connections with your clients, suppliers and stakeholders. Having good people around you and a team you can trust is vital. So is mentorship and training, to elevate and empower your team.
9. What advice would you give to others in the industry who would like to follow in your footsteps?
My three pieces of advice are: know that saying no is ok; you can’t be everything to everyone. Be proud of and enjoy what you do; otherwise it’s going to be hard to do your job. And constantly look for inspiration; be open to new ideas.