Talk about a career change. Angela Bae graduated in 2013 with a degree in neuroscience and psychology from the University of Pennsylvania hoping to pursue a medical profession.
Now she serves as slot marketing manager at Aria Hotel & Casino.
“A marketing class in my senior year caught my interest, and I made the decision to switch career paths,” Bae says.
After Penn, she landed a job in the Management Associate Program for Slot Operations at Aria and never looked back. Bae served as assistant manager for slots and manager of slot marketing at MGM Grand Las Vegas. She transitioned to corporate enterprise reporting and last year, returned to Aria in her current position.
“These jobs gave me a great overarching view of how slot machines, customer service, guest loyalty and gaming promotions all work together to provide the best guest experience and high profitability for the department,” she says.
Bae’s duties include overseeing Aria’s M life Rewards Desk staff, conducting slot tournaments in conjunction with the special events team and running slot-related direct mail and email campaigns with the help of the direct marketing team.
In a typical day, she works with staff to ensure all guest inquiries are resolved, collaborates with other departments to plan upcoming slot events, reviews future direct mail and email marketing campaigns, works with slot hosts for guest requests and analyzes data.
Bae credits part of her success to a series of mentors, including Mike Gatten, VP of slots during the MAP program.
“He continues to meet with me to discuss future endeavors and ways to improve myself in my current role. Joanne Kraly, my current VP of slots at Aria, shows me how women can grow in a male-dominated industry and be seen as leaders and mentors for other women in slots.”
Taylor Gwiazdon, an adviser during the MAP program, has also been instrumental.
“He never fails to give me advice on how to grow as a leader of people,” says Bae, who enjoys golf, concerts and exploring new restaurants.
Slots continue to evolve with interactive and skill-based gaming, and Bae feels those changes will win the hearts and minds of millennials, social creatures who enjoy sharing their fun experiences with others. “Skill-based games are fun to watch and fun to play,” she says. “We have technology on our side to improve the gaming experience and engage the younger generations back to slots. Though it will never take over the entire casino, skill-based gaming will provide a niche market for those who enjoy a less traditional experience.”
As for the next generation of workers, Bae urges patience.
“As millennials, we are hard-wired to believe we need to be promoted every year or we are not successful,” she says. “Learn as much as you can in each role so that when the next opportunity comes around, you are fully prepared to take on new challenges. You will earn the respect of your employees, your coworkers and your bosses. Don’t make a move for a better paycheck. The money will come.”