Originally appeared in Wicked Local Watertown in June, 2018
No one is more surprised about Emily Mandeville’s career than she is.
Working in hospitality was a given, but hotels? That was unexpected, she said.
Today she is sales manager for the150-room Residence Inn by Marriott, located at 570 Arsenal Street in Watertown.
“Hotels—I never pictured myself [working] in them, but I always pictured myself in hospitality,” she said. “I love working with people I love working with different personalities and learning [about] different people.”
“I look at everything with a different perspective, which kind of helps our team,” she added.
Her job is to let people know what the hotel can offer them. There are many things to say, Mandeville said.
“Residence Inn is a nice brand because it’s so inclusive,” she said. “We have complimentary parking; complimentary breakfast and we also do have a shuttle that takes people into Harvard Square. We’re next to Target, which is oddly [one of] the biggest selling points.”
She has been in her current role since 2016.
Cakes, concierge and connection
A Marshfield native, Mandeville knew hospitality would be her focus, ever since she was a cake decorator in high school. She loved the organic interactions with customers and the ability to help them with whatever milestone they were celebrating.
She worked at a catering company for roughly a decade, first while attending high school and then while at Southern New Hampshire University. She graduated in 2013.
“It just fell into place,” she said. “I applied to so many places near and far. I just could picture myself there and I loved it.”
After graduation, she worked for Eservus Online Concierge Services as a corporate concierge. The role gave her another perspective on hospitality.
“I’m fortunate—I’ve gone to school for the industry I want to work in, and now I’m still in the industry that I went to school for,” Mandeville said.
Getting to know Watertown
“I’m fortunate to have really good mentors,” Mandeville said. “Sometimes working with small companies and also me going to a small school there’s so many more resources and more contact points to work off of.”
The knowledge of the changes coming at Arsenal Yards has been helpful in making sales in her role now, she says.
“When I worked at the mall and here I actually realized how close this community is,” Mandeville said. “Watertown is so historical. Whether you come here frequently or this is your first time, people want to know [about it].
“It’s such a competitive market. And that’s what I’m learning: it’s such a numbers industry,” she added.
Her goal: Rise to the top
Right now, Mandeville focuses her efforts on the social side of booking events for a range of categories which include military, educational, religious and fraternal events. The hotel has an 850-square-foot meeting space for these get-togethers which range anywhere from a family reunion to a sports gathering.
“That’s really the goal; that’s the path they’re helping me with,” she said. “To know that you’re working with a company that also sees the success in you makes you feel good.”
Watertown is changing fast right across from the hotel. Mandeville is excited to see how her business and her career will grow in time along with the town.
“I’m just really fortunate and happy that all of this fell into my lap and that I’m able to work in such a close community,” she said. “Especially with so much coming into Watertown I’m excited for that to happen as well.”
By: Kerry Feltner