Fairygodboss

"Organizations value leaders who are solutions-oriented,"  says Stephanie Atiase. "Always be solutions oriented."

Our Fairygodboss of the week spent most of her career in management consulting before realizing that she wanted to focus on finding ways to improve the customer service for product or service she admired. As senior director of corporate strategy and corporate development at Hilton, she's doing just that. 

Stephanie Atiase, Fairygodboss of the Week

Senior Director, Corporate Strategy & Corporate Development, Hilton

Washington, D.C.

Tell us a little about your career. How did you get to where you are now?

I spent most of my career in management consulting working on growth strategy, customer strategy, and business model innovation. Although I absolutely loved being on the road—I was rarely home on a Tuesday, and I enjoyed exploring new cities, meeting new people, and solving challenging business problems in different industries—I soon came to realize that I wanted to focus on finding ways to improve the customer experience for a product or service that I loved.

Given all my years spending time in hotels, I started to think about hotels as my home away from home. Why not then pursue helping one of the best brands in the world grow and optimize their customer experience? That is what brought me to corporate strategy at Hilton.

Who is YOUR Fairygodboss? and Why?

I have had some amazing bosses throughout my career, some men and some women. And I'm very thankful for all the advice and mentorship I have received. My current boss, Nathalie Corredor, is incredibly smart, thoughtful and genuinely cares about her team. I appreciate her ability to always put herself in other people's shoes. Unlike many leaders who spend most of their time trying to present their point of view, Nathalie is a keen listener. She has a great ability to listen to divergent points of view and find a solution. I greatly appreciate her leadership and mentorship.

If you could have dinner with one famous person—dead or alive—who would it be?

Michelle Obama. I'm impressed with both her intellect and her grace.

Lightning Round:

What is your favorite movie?

Pillow Talk, a romantic comedy with Doris Day and Rock Hudson from 1959. I love old movies.

What is the #1 career tip you'd like to share with other women who want to have successful careers like you?

Leaders are often anointed before they are appointed. Meaning, focus on doing your very best, being positive and excelling at the level above you before seeking new opportunities. People will see that and naturally want you to progress. Additionally, when we are passionate about a subject area, we often perform better. Even if it is a topic you don't naturally feel connected to, always find something about whatever you are working on where you can have an impact and improve the end result. Organizations value leaders who are solutions-oriented. Always be solutions-oriented.

Fairygodboss is all about women helping other women - so each week, we celebrate a woman who made a difference in another woman’s career. Is there a woman who has made a difference in your career? Celebrate her and thank her by nominating her here.

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