Noella has it right, "It's kinda fun"

November 4, 2013

Noella Abijuru in Dubai
Listen to how Noella Abijuru a resident of Kigali, Rwanda describes working for Marriott.  “It’s kinda fun. Though it’s a business, it’s kinda fun.”  Noella is one of fifteen women hired about a year ago from the Akilah Instutute for Women.  She’s been training in Dubai and will return to her home country and be part of the management team that opens the Kigali Marriott Hotel. 

As Marriott expands into new cities, countries and continents, hiring talented people can be a challenge.  Many new hires have never stayed in a hotel.  Enter the Akilah Institute.  When they heard Marriott was opening a hotel in Rwanda, they contacted us and began a hospitality curriculum in its school in Kigali.  Noella was hired out of its first class.  Her attitude is terrific. I’ve always said that if you like what you’re doing, you’ll be successful at it.  Take a look at the video and you'll see what I mean.


Our Marriott talent management team has been impressed with how hard the Akilah grads train and how easily they greet customers.  In fact, we’ve committed to hiring twenty more Akilah students from the next graduating class.  This growing Marriott-Akilah partnership is based on a shared belief -- a belief in giving people opportunities, education and empowerment.  We really believe in their mission in Rwanda.  At The Akilah Institute annual dinner, we presented the school with a grant from The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation to create three scholarships.  As you can see by their smiling faces, these young women have bright careers ahead of them. 

Akilah Institute for Women

Africa is the next big frontier.  As more people travel there, more hotels will open and more opportunities will become available to work in hospitality.  When the Kigali Marriott Hotel opens in late 2014, it will be a big day.  The hotel will be one of the first for Marriott in Sub-Sahara Africa.  The opening will also be a homecoming for the Akilah graduates who were trained in Dubai and Doha and are now back in Kigali welcoming guests to their hotel.   

I’m Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the Move.  

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this is Fantastic !This open the door to so many for the African population ,I grew up in Africa ,and I know this is a win win for both Marriott and Africa;Thank you Mr Marriott

Very inspiring article. It is true that the hospitality industry still have an open-field in Africa and can do a lot more to attract tourists and investors.

Keep Marriot on The Move !

its great that marriott is always in the forfront in giving back to the people and you are so involved and best of all your blogs keeps us informed of all the interstings things you do and think of , so keep writing and maybe some day come and visit us in cork ireland and write a little blog about the marriott people in cork too.

This article hit home after my latest experience at The Fairfield Inn Akron South. So often, businesses forget what makes them successful. It is the employees. With the help of front desk manager Brittany Miller, I was able to put together a block of almost 30 rooms for my group. After spending 8 hours on a bus and arriving at 1am, you could only imagine what our group of 80 people felt like. As we dragged ourselves into the lobby, there was Brittany with another employee prepared with a smile and plan to get everyone checked in as soon as possible. I felt sorry for the employees and a bit guilty because I was one of the first to check in and the rest of the group would be there for a while. I went up and put my things away in my room then headed down 15 minutes later to the lobby anticipating some frayed nerves for those still waiting to check in. I was floored when I arrived, everyone was checked in. I thanked Brittany and went back to my room relieved. To my amazement, I happened to look over to the check in desk the next morning at 7:30 am and saw Brittany. She probably slept 4 hours and was still smiling. This is why I only stay at Marriot properties. Your employees are the reason Marriott is successful. Selfishly, I will one day try and steal Brittany from you because in my 25 years of sales, I have never seen the level of planning and customer service combined that she displayed!

Wonderful - great story to read and watch. Great opportunity for these young ladies

Thank you for moving Marriott in Africa

Fantastic example of giving back to the community. Kudos to Marriott and the Akilah Institute.