Company HQ location: Watford, Hertfordshire
Industry: Catering & hospitality
No of employees: 17300
Hilton is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,400 properties with nearly 880,000 rooms, in 106 countries and territories.
Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world's most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences - every hotel, every guest, every time. Our brands include Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton.
We have created a culture of excellence, innovation and hospitality. In our business, we know the Team Member experience is just as important as the Guest experience. Team Member engagement and long-term career growth are critical to our success, and this is why we are committed to helping our Team Members reach their full potential.
We offer a broad range of graduate programs, internships and entry-level positions to help young people kick-start their career, with roles in areas ranging from front-of-house and food & beverage, to sales and marketing, finance and events. If you are ambitious, dedicated and have a passion for working with people, there could be a role for you at Hilton.
Our mission is to be the most hospitable company in the world – by creating heartfelt experiences for Guests, meaningful opportunities for Team Members, high value for Owners and a positive impact in our Communities.
Training and development opportunities through Hilton University
Health and wellbeing benefits
Team Member and Family Travel Program
Competitive starting salary
After I graduated from the University of West of England in Criminology and Law, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do for a career. Everything I considered was missing one key thing for me: the opportunity to live and work in different locations. I had grown up in Spain, Italy and the UAE and I never quite shook off that desire to travel.
Throughout my time at university, I had loved working in hospitality alongside my studies, but I hadn't considered making this a career. However, I knew I wanted to work in an industry that would involve working with people, building management skills and working abroad. The Hilton Management Development Program (MDP) ticked all the boxes.
The application process was certainly rigorous, but it really offered me the chance to express myself. I know I am a good communicator, so the varied interview and assessment centre structure was perfect for me. I had gained experience working as a mentor for children who were unable to attend mainstream school, which helped my application as it brought in a completely different dimension and showed an ability to communicate in difficult situations. Working in hospitality is all about adaptability and people, so regardless of your educational background, as long as you can demonstrate those core attributes, there will be a role for you.
My first placement was at Hilton Watford and I moved to Hilton Birmingham Metropole for my second placement after nine months. I worked across a huge range of departments, from events to front office to housekeeping. Having gained so much experience so quickly, I actually completed the program three months early to start my current position at Hilton Cardiff!
It's very hard to describe a typical day on the scheme, and in hospitality in general, as every day is so different and can change so quickly. I always start the day with a rough plan to ensure all the rooms are organised and any admin is taken care of before new guests arrive. I also like to say hello to my Team Members to ensure they are on top form every day.
For me, what makes Hilton's MDP so challenging yet rewarding is the variety of the work you do. It requires commitment, flexibility and adaptability - skills that I know will set me up for life.
The range of experience means I left the program feeling equipped to deal with the fast-pace of hospitality and the many interesting situations that come with it - like leaks and power cuts! I highly recommend the MDP if you want a complete education in hospitality, one that will push you out of your comfort zone and lay a great foundation for your career.
The most rewarding part of the MDP is that you can so clearly see the results of your hard work in guest feedback. There is no better feeling than working hard for your team, seeing them thrive and then sharing the successes together.
I hope to keep progressing at Hilton and to have gained my first Director of Operations position within five years. My aim is that this is abroad - I'm not sure where yet, but I will try and ensure it's somewhere with great weather!
Having studied International Hospitality Management at Brighton University, I heard about Hilton's Management Development Program through a friend who was already on the scheme.
I did my research and found out that the program is designed to help recent graduates become a world-class operational or functional head of department in hospitality. It involves an intensive period of on-the-job learning where at the end of 18 months you can run your own Food & Beverage, Front Office or Conference & Events department. It sounded perfect for me.
I won't lie, the application process was challenging, but it is designed to help identify individuals who have a real passion for the industry. My one piece of advice to graduates applying for competitive schemes like this one would always be to be enthusiastic and ensure your determination and passion comes through. People will notice.
As part of the program, MDP graduates are placed in two different hotels in different parts of the country for nine months each. My placements were at Hilton Dunkeld House and Hilton London Syon Park - this really gave me a well-rounded experience and helped me develop my leadership qualities, as they are two very different properties.
It sounds clichéd, but it really is true that no two days are the same in hospitality. I guess that working in an industry centred on people, it's inevitable that there will a variety; you meet so many people it couldn't be any other way! What makes the role so enjoyable for me is the Team Members I work with. I know some companies say that they are like a family, but at Hilton it's true. I make sure I catch up with the team at the beginning of the shift; we celebrate the good times together and support each other through the tough. I always strive to find new ways to improve not just our guest experience but also the Team Member experience. For me, the most rewarding part of the job is watching other Team Members grow around you, knowing that your help and counsel has impacted someone's future. When you can see them setting up their career and really flourishing, it's a great feeling.
I would highly recommend MDP to anyone who wants to progress quickly and have plenty of opportunity to travel, and who loves working with people. The other real benefit of the Hilton MDP is the support networks you build. I know the people I have worked with and my mentors will still be there in years to come. I continue to feel the support for my future career and know that the opportunities are limitless. I'd sum up the job as fun, challenging and inspiring.
For as long as I can remember, I've had a desire to see the world, and have always wanted a job that would enable me to combine work with my love of travel. I knew I wanted to work in finance, so I spent my final year of university searching for a graduate job that would simultaneously let me travel, play to my existing strengths and build the skills needed to set me up for a career. I found Hilton's Finesse Finance program online and it sounded perfect - two years of finance training with two, 12-month placements in different hotels, in either Europe, the Middle East or Africa.
I applied to Finesse in November 2014 for the 2015 intake. My first placement was in Barcelona, and during those first few months, I quickly became fully immersed in the team and did my best to learn as much as I possibly could as quickly as possible. That's Finesse in a nutshell - you are given countless opportunities to learn and build up your skills, but there is also a lot of emphasis on making your own success, so you need to be ambitious, tenacious and passionate to make the most of it.
My second placement was in Dubai, where I was fortunate enough to work for one of the best leaders I have ever met. She pushed me hard to make sure I got everything I could out of my time there, and it really helped me to learn and progress.
I chose to stay in Dubai after graduating from the program, and joined the Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Al Jadaf Culture Village after a short time at the Waldorf Astoria Ras Al Khaimah. My Finesse training stood me in good stead for this role and has given me a clear career path ahead: I'm now Finance Manager for the hotel, and hope to progress to Finance Director soon.
I know I will move again with Hilton, and it's exciting to think that I could be working in a completely different country five years from now. That's one of the major selling points of the hospitality industry: regardless of the job you do, you have the opportunity to work across the world, and you are learning every day.
If I could describe my time as a Finesse graduate in three words I'd say: challenging, exciting and limitless.