Currently, close to 30 students represent Hyatt Hotels Corporation on campus. These individuals have all completed undergraduate internships with Hyatt, received stellar recommendations, and have strong aspirations to continue their career with us upon graduation.
Their role is one that we don’t take lightly. Student Ambassadors are important to our brand and ensure we maintain a year-round presence on campus. This is why it’s difficult when an Ambassador decides that they want to pursue another opportunity. Although such an event occurs infrequently, last week, one of my Campus Ambassadors did just that, she called me up and delivered the news that she would not be joining Hyatt after graduation. Her decision was unexpected, and I have to admit that I was stunned.
I expect that there will be others in this same situation. Not necessarily Student Ambassadors deciding to move on to other organizations upon graduation, but students and graduates who have to make the difficult decision to change course. Therefore I thought it would be worth sharing the best way to deliver the message that you’ve changed your mind, changed your aspirations, don’t want that job offer, or want to resign from a company and move in a different direction.
Make the call
First, there are some decisions that should not be communicated via email and this is definitely one of them. Particularly because the tone within an email is subject to interpretation, and when you’re handling a sticky situation, you definitely don’t want the receiver to form their own interpretation of your message. You can however, send an email and schedule time to chat over the phone or in person. The benefit is that either communication method allows the receiver to hear the sincerity in your voice and have the opportunity to ask questions. Also scheduling time for the discussion ensures that you will have the receiver’s full attention.
Tell the truth
During the conversation, be honest regarding your decision. My ex-Ambassador outlined the reasons why she was choosing another organization. Her explanation was clear and she offered so much detail that I knew for sure she had considered her choice carefully. She also made a point to mention the qualities she loved about our organization that made her choice so difficult. Although she doesn’t graduate until June 2012, she didn’t delay in informing me of her decision to pursue her other option. Notifying those affected as soon as possible is both important and respectful. As a result of her timeliness, we’re able to plan ahead and can offer another student the employment opportunity we had set aside for her upon graduation.
Maintain the relationship
If you are interested in maintaining the relationships you’ve established, be sure you say so during the conversation. Reiterate your desire to stay in touch in a follow up email after your conversation. You want to be sure that you exit the situation graciously; recognizing that most industries are small and there is a strong possibility of your paths crossing in the future. Although it was disappointing to hear of my ex-Ambassador’s choice, I wanted her to know that her decision didn’t change my outlook on her or her place in the Hyatt family. Sometimes your family has to give you the space to grow and it’s comforting to know that no matter how far you go, they will welcome you back with open arms.
Ronisha is one of Hyatt’s College Recruiting Managers. Hyatt’s College Recruiters visit more than 30 college campuses each year recruiting top talent at hospitality programs across the country. A graduate of The Ohio State University, Ronisha begin her Hyatt career as a Human Resources Corporate Management Trainee. During her ten years with Hyatt, she has worked at Hyatt Hotels in Orlando, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey. To learn more about opportunities with Hyatt please visit hyatt.jobs, follow Hyatt on twitter @hyattcareers, become a Hyatt Facebook fan at Hyatt Hotels and Resorts Careers and follow the Campus Recruiter blog at blog.hyatt.jobs.