We sat down with Jamison Crowder, who just finished his rookie season as a wide receiver with Washington’s professional football team, to talk about his experience working at Marriott International headquarters. Jamison is participating in the NFLPA Externship, which pairs active and transitioning players with companies and organizations to provide access to professional resources and training. During his three weeks at Marriott, Jamison has worked with Marriott’s Employer Brand Marketing Team.
HOTH: How’s it going so far?
Jamison: Good. I’m here to get a feel for this type of environment, to see if it fits, to see if it’s something I can do after my football career is over.
HOTH: What are you doing during your externship?
Jamison: I’m helping to launch the “Found Time” project (with Residence Inn). It’s to celebrate Leap Day and the extra 24 hours people have. I’m also helping to find photos for the Marriott Careers’ “Show Your Happy” campaign and come up with content for social media. For me it’s been somewhat challenging; it’s bringing out my creative side. It’s challenging, but I’m up to the challenge.
HOTH: What else has been challenging?
Jamison: Figuring out how to go about sitting at a desk for so long. It’s different. Sometimes I have to get up and stretch a little or go get a bottle of water. I’m used to being active much of the day.
HOTH: Do you have a strategy for getting through long meetings?
Jamison: Not really. I see a lot of people here drink coffee, but I’m not really a coffee person. With the football team, when we have our morning two-hour meetings with the offensive coach they give us bags of sunflower seeds to keep us awake. All different flavors. It works.
HOTH: The pace of the day must be very different. Have you been to the Marriott Headquarters gym?
Jamison: I haven’t been to the gym here. I’m using these days as break time. Also it’s a long day here. Regular business hours — 9 to 5 or 9 to 6 — is a long day. Especially when I’m still thinking about work when I leave.
HOTH: How do you find the culture at Marriott?
Jamison: Everyone has been very nice. A lot of people don’t know or recognize me. A few ladies here are football fans, and they are excited to talk football. But here it’s been more about the work.
HOTH: Is there anything else you have learned so far?
Jamison: One thing that surprised me is how much work you all have every day. It’s interesting to learn how you prioritize.
HOTH: Is there any way Marriott International is similar to a professional football team?
Jamison: I’d have to say maybe the cafeteria. You have healthy food here. I see there’s a salad bar and not a lot of greasy food. You think about your associates like the team thinks about its players.
HOTH: If you were talking to some friends about your experience with Marriott, what would you tell them?
Jamison: It’s been a cool experience. It’s different than what I’m used to. I think I’ve picked up on some skills and tools to thrive in this type of environment. It’s making me think about what I want to do in the future.