How I Got Here — Linda Gulrajani, Marcus Hotels & Resorts

Linda Gulrajani, CRME, is vice president of revenue strategy and distribution for Marcus Hotels & Resorts and chair of HSMAI’s Revenue Management Advisory Board:

When I graduated from college, I lived in Michigan and decided to move to Florida. I had no interest in the hospitality industry, but I worked as a waitress in a Marriott hotel until I finally decided I needed to find a “real” job. At that point, I interviewed for a sales position in the hotel, but was offered a job in reservations instead.

That was when revenue management was really starting to gain traction, so I worked my way up. I was a reservations supervisor, then reservations manager, and then I moved to Atlanta and opened the Atlanta call center for all the Marriott hotels there. We were in an office with a regional Marriott team, and I asked how I could become a director of revenue management, since there wasn’t a formal training program or path. On my own time, I spent time with the Atlanta directors of revenue management to learn the job. During that time, one of the directors of Revenue went on maternity leave and they had me fill in for them. I did well, and the manager supported me for advancement.

There were two jobs available with Marriott at the time, the LaGuardia Airport Marriott and the Newark Airport Marriott, so I moved to Newark. It was the best first job I could have had and a great steppingstone. From there I bounced around a little bit in revenue management and moved to Chicago. Then I went to work for Disney in Orlando. I started dating my husband long distance from Milwaukee and ended up moving there, where revenue-management jobs were scarce.

I ended up working for TravelClick, covering the Wisconsin and Minnesota markets. Selling was a total change of pace for me that really took me out of my comfort zone. When the recession hit, I got laid off. Marcus was one of my customers, and they created a position for me, where I realized how happy I was to be back in revenue management. I worked my way up from there. I left Marcus for a few months to go work for another management company in a VP role. They changed some things at Marcus, the position opened up, and I came back.

Categories: Revenue Management
Insight Type: Articles