Best Large Company No. 3 - Travel & Hospitality
From left: RCI employees Lee Rushin, Todd Menendez and Jennifer Long [Photo: Brook Pifer]
Carrying a business card with her name, major and graduation date, University of Central Florida student Jennifer Long made the rounds at the 2010 American Resort Development Association Conference in Las Vegas. The confident go-getter and former Marine wasn’t shy about introducing herself. Carrying a card “makes it seem like you know what to do and know how to present yourself in the business world,” she says.
Executives at RCI, a timeshare exchange company based in New Jersey, liked Long so much that they offered her an internship in their Orlando office while she finished her undergraduate degree at the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. After the internship ended, Long, then 28, was offered a full-time position as a marketing manager. The company is legendary in the hospitality industry for perks like a free resort vacation for employees every year.
[Photo: Brook Pifer]
RCI regularly recruits from schools such as UCF’s Rosen College because of its narrowly tailored hospitality degree — students can even take a class on timeshares. Other degrees that Bramel says can be helpful: Marketing, finance or business. Getting hired at the company is an achievement. RCI hired only two people for its Orlando office last year.
Nearing her two-year mark with the company, Long says she loves the innovative culture at RCI. “No idea is too crazy,” she says. The company offers flexible work hours, allowing employees to work from home one day a week, and discounts to local gyms. Long took advantage of her free resort vacation last year, traveling in September to California to visit Disneyland. “I ran a half-marathon while I was there,” she says.
|» Online Edge
Though networking is often touted as a better way to get a job, recruiters for large companies say they rely heavily on online postings to fill jobs. Stephanie Bramel, a senior human resources manager for timeshare exchange company RCI, says she likes sites such as LinkedIn that allow her to search for someone based on previous employment or company size. “I was looking for an account executive in the Florida market just today,” Bramel says. “You just put in key word searches for sales, UCF and large hospitality names. Then we can send invitations to them and invite them to apply.”