Sydney Pakkala

Major: Event Management
Minor/option/emphasis: Hospitality Management
Company/Organization: Kansas City Marriott Downtown
Destination: Kansas City, Missouri
Timeframe: Sumer 2022
Advisor/Coordinator Email: briaj


As a Red Coat with Marriott, I work as an event operations coordinator to ensure all details for onsite meetings, socials, and room blocks are executed. I work on-site with multiple meeting planners at a time, making sure they have everything they need throughout the duration of their event. To the meeting planners, I am a direct contact for every department at the hotel. Any request they may have, meeting planners will contact me and I make sure the request is given to the correct department. Along with being the main contact for meeting planners on site, I also make sure that all details related to the scheduled meetings, food service, and room sets are compared to that of which the meeting planner requested. This allows our events to be thoroughly checked by our staff to make sure everything is in line with what was requested.


My greatest accomplishment in this role was being mentioned on a perfect survey two separate times. The Kansas City Marriott Downtown sends surveys to meeting planners after their events so we can see what needs to be improved as a team. Two times this summer I was mentioned as a helpful member of staff for a perfect story, or what we call a "10 for 10". This was a big accomplishment for me because it showed me that I play an important role and I am a valued team member.

Learning experience

The most important lesson I learned from this experience is the importance of a positive workplace. Each day at our location, I felt valued and cared for as a team member. My co-workers, like me, root for each other each and every day and support one another on the job. Having a positive workplace made my job even more fulfilling, and allowed me to look forward to each day on the job. I got to see firsthand how positive and effective management can enforce top-notch employee morale and a well-rounded team. Working in the hospitality industry can be exhausting and frustrating at times, but I learned from this experience that a positive work environment will outshine that and allow the work to be fulfilling every day.

What advice would you give?

My advice for students in my major is to have the confidence to ask questions. It is so important to soak up as much information on the job as possible because it will allow you to solve problems and work more effectively. No matter how much relevant experience you may have or how long you have been on the job, no question is ever not worth asking. It is important to take each day as a chance to learn about your position, as it will only help you grow. Confidence in asking co-workers questions will reflect in the confidence you have in front of clients and guests, which is so important in our industry.

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