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Williams Is in the Driver’s Seat at Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun is a casino with 364,000 square feet of gambling space across three casinos. However, Mohegan Sun is much more than a gaming destination.
Situated on 240 acres in Uncasville, CT, the grounds include the 12,000-seat capacity Mohegan Sun Arena, the home of the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League and WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, three major entertainment venues with seating from 350 to 10,000, two high-end spas, and 100,000 square feet of flexible meeting and function room space.
There are also two hotels, 47 dining options and 36 retail stores, plus the Mohegan Sun Exposition Center, set to open in Summer 2018. It takes 10,000 employees to run such a sprawling, diverse enterprise. Derrick R. Williams is one of them.
Williams is director of transportation at Mohegan Sun, which has him overseeing valet parking, guest transportation on and off property, limousine reservations and chauffeurs, property flow management via signage to various garages and other parking options, and the maintenance of the company’s fleet.
To accomplish all of this, he has a staff of 300, and prior to being the director of transportation, he was Mohegan Sun’s hotel manager.
“The main thing I love and appreciate about Mohegan Sun is that they believe in me and they are very supportive. I’ve been with the company for nearly 21 years, and I’ve been given many opportunities to grow and advance. I’m respected and trusted to represent Mohegan Sun in many ways, and I’m very proud to be a part of this company!”
In his managerial roles Williams has hired many people and has invaluable insight on how best to impress.
“When I hire a new team member, I always tell them that I hired them because they presented themselves very well. They answered all of the questions in a favorable manner, they promised that they would do the job to the best of their ability, and they displayed the right attitude that was consistent with what we look for. I tell them that they impressed me, now please continue to impress our guests!,” Williams shares.
“I encourage them to never forget the feeling and attitude they had when they interviewed for the job. They were energetic, enthusiastic, courteous, respectful, professional, willing, attentive, well-spoken and professional (just to name a few).”
He says their continued success depends on “their ability and willingness to keep that ‘interview personality’ every day. They need to simply follow the rules, have a good attitude every day, and strive to put forth a great effort, be courteous, polite, and always respect others.”
Ironically, the man who has interviewed so many has a history of being nervous as an interviewee.
“The best advice I ever received was something very simple, two words: be yourself! That was it,” he recalls.
“Early in my career I used to get really nervous when it came to interviewing. Sometimes nervousness comes off as a lack of confidence. After an interview my boss at the time told me to just be myself. As I reflected on that, I realized that all I can offer to any job is who I am. I love people, I love making people happy, I love serving others, I love teamwork, I love to be successful, and I love to have fun!,” Williams relates.
“From then on I would go into interviews with that advice in mind, and it proved to be very beneficial.”
Whereas he’s no longer nervous in interviews, his career at Mohegan Sun still ponies up challenges.
“Prior to joining the transportation department, I was the hotel manager at Mohegan Sun. It was initially very scary to take on this new position because I was not at all familiar with the various responsibilities, expectations and the many challenging aspects of the job,” Williams admits.
“I’m still learning a great deal, and I navigate through this by relying on the very talented team that I have to work with. The key word is ‘team,’ as I know that I could not do it all by myself,” he underscores.
“I lean on their strengths and contribute wherever and whenever I can with my experience. As a result, we continue to make great progress and enjoy much more success!”
If you elect to work in the hospitality sector, then attitude is everything, according to the hospitality manager.
“Always maintain a strong work ethic and positive attitude. In the hospitality industry, your primary function is to serve guests and do all that you can to ensure that they are pleased. It’s very important to always do your best and to stay focused on your purpose,” advises. Williams.
“Our company’s vision is to be the preferred entertainment destination by delivering memorable experiences and unmatched personalized services. It’s my goal to ensure this happens every day and to encourage my team members to do the same. No matter what you do, it’s all about having the right attitude.”
And if you’re hired by Mohegan Sun, then the care you tender will be extended to you, too.
“The most surprising or impressive thing about Mohegan Sun is the passion it has for its team members. They do many great things to show their gratitude for us, from team member recognition to special events, as well as community and family functions,” Williams points out.
“My company realizes we’re the core of its success. We’re respected, appreciated and treated very well. They care about us and truly want us to be happy.”
Mull over mohegansun.com/about-mohegan-sun/careers.html for Mohegan Sun career possibilities. Connect on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn.
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