Five questions with: Marriott International's CDO for MEA, Jerome Briet
Hotelier Middle East sits down with Jerome Briet, Marriott International's chief development officer for MEA to talk about his first job in the hospitality industry and that one time he crashed a guest’s Range Rover
What was your first job in the hospitality industry?
I was a security agent at the Marriott Vacation Club Paris that was nearly 20 years. It was a student job so I was working at night while studying during the day.
One piece of advice you would offer someone looking to work in the hotel sector.
It’s a very hard industry to work in, especially when you start at the bottom of the ladder. My advice would be: Don’t give up, take all the trainings you can get and educate yourself as much as you can. If you are a front office agent it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t know what is happening in the other departments. The more you know about the company, the easier it is for you to grow in the firm.
What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t working in this industry?
I would definitely be in the car industry! I’m a car fanatic.
Describe your typical working day.
I wake up between 5.30 to 6 am, workout and then have breakfast with my kids, post that I leave to office. When I’m alone in the morning I take time to clear off my emails and work on things that I couldn’t work on before. I start my day at office by catching up with the team. My work starts at 5.30 am and can go on till 1.30 am.
What would you say has been your most bizarre/fun experience so far?
I probably shouldn’t be telling you (laughs). One of my student jobs was that of a valet. This incident happened in France when I was supposed to park an English car. It was a Range Rover and I didn’t realise that the car had suitcases stacked on the top (in the storage space). So, here I was driving the car into the basement when the storage space crashed [into the basement’s roof] and then I crashed the car. That was probably the most amazing experience I’ve had, also the one incident I’m most ashamed about (laughs). Looking back now, I do think it was funny.