Diana Martinez, Hospitality Talent Acquisition Manager

Our real-life in the mountains series captures the lives of professionals in the mountains, showcasing their resilience in overcoming challenges and inspiring others to pursue their dreams in these breathtaking communities.

Meet Diana …

Tell us about your career journey in the mountains. Where did you start and where are you now?

My first role in the company was a six-month internship as an In-Room Dining Server when I was still in college. Once I had completed my internship, my manager asked me if I had any interest in coming back to join the team, which I did. After graduating college, I applied for a J1 visa that would allow me to work at The Little Nell for a whole year. During this time I worked my way up from Mini Bar Attendant to In-Room Dining Server to Order Taker to Captain and, finally, after my year had concluded, The Little Nell gave me the incredible opportunity to apply for a work visa so I could come back and take on a new role of Assistant In Room Dining Manager. Throughout my time in In Room Dining I learned A LOT, more than I thought I could learn from one person and one department. This role taught me organizational skills, phone etiquette, restaurant pace, Forbes standards, sense of urgency, employee training, employee relationships, confrontation, problem solving, Micros, InfoGenesis, programming, Kronos, employee incentives, how to keep a team together and happy, how to communicate, etc. all of these skills and my interest in helping new employees and candidates to find their own calling and passion, led me to apply for my current job as Talent Acquisition Manager which has become the best decision of my career.

How do you make it all work? How did you find housing?

I think work-life balance is very important, staying connected with your family and your friends is what has helped me make it all work, having moved away from Mexico to the USA was challenging and difficult in the beginning, getting involved in a different culture where English is not your first language was tough but nothing I couldn’t overcome by practicing and being open to all the changes. For my first season, I was fortunate to be in employee housing but as the months went by and I realized that this option was not going to work for me as I was going to become a long-term employee for Aspen Skiing Company, I started looking on Facebook every single day, I talked to people in the hotel to see if there were any leads and eventually I found my own housing where I lived for 2 years. Unfortunately at the time, my landlord was moving to a different area so I had to start my housing search all over again, I looked again on Facebook, craigslist, the newspaper and the employee resources that our company has to offer, I put my name on a lot of waitlists including the ones for long-term employee housing and just as I was about to give up, I got a call about an apartment in long-term employee housing which I right away took and I have lived there ever since.

What’s the best part of living in the mountains? Why do you stay?

Coming from a big city like Mexico City, the first 2 months were a challenge, I had never lived in an area like this and I was used to the traffic, the crowds and had very little exposure to nature, as the months went by and I started to go out to enjoy the winter, I fell in love completely with the mountains, I remember my first summer and fall I was just amazed at how beautiful this place is and how I get to call it my home. One moment that made me realize that this was the place I wanted to be at was when I was at home, watching TV with my roommate, we had a snowstorm that day so I was laying down watching the TV but also looking out the window and in that moment it hit me, I felt like I was at home and after almost 7 years of living here, I still feel the same way.

What advice do you have for someone looking to get into Hospitality?

The hospitality industry is one of the most challenging and rewarding industries in my opinion. Being in this industry takes courage, patience, dedication and passion. My advice is to start somewhere, even if you have to start from the bottom. If you are dedicated, committed, know how to listen and learn, new opportunities will come your way. You just have to be patient, get closer to your mentors and ask as many questions as you can.

How did you build a community?

I didn’t really use any organizations to meet people in the area. When I first arrived to Colorado, I didn’t really know anyone, my roommates and I had traveled from Mexico City together so that helped me a lot. As time went by, I started getting along and making friends with my teammates at work who eventually became my best friends and to this day, we still have a relationship. I will say that it was very challenging building a solid group since everyone I met was only here for the summer or the winter but after my first year, I was able to connect with some of my coworkers that were also coming from Mexico and started creating long-lasting relationships, having built a strong support system has helped get through some challenging times while missing home, it definitely takes time and effort but it is totally worth it.

Mountaincareers.com serves as a comprehensive platform for individuals seeking professional opportunities in small mountain communities. It provides a wide array of job listings in picturesque locations such as Aspen Roaring Fork, Bozeman Big Sky, Durango, Jackson Hole, Mammoth Lakes, Steamboat Springs, Summit County Breckenridge, Sun Valley Ketchum, Tahoe Truckee, Telluride, and Vail Valley.