Caesars Vice President of Labor and Hospitality Analytics Anita Grim combines her analytical prowess, care for others, and a willingness to embrace change to forge a path as an emerging leader in the gaming industry.
Grim began her career as a business analyst at Deloitte. Four years into her climb up the consulting ladder, she pursued an MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. As she continued progressing from analyst to manager, she found herself having to adapt quickly to new clients, industries and functional areas regularly.
Constantly moving between industries left Grim feeling like a jack-of-all-trades but a master of none. “I learned that I either needed to get comfortable not knowing everything before I speak, or I needed to move into an industry role where I could build a real industry knowledge base—and with it, confidence—over time,” says Grim.
So in 2014, with the support of her mentors, she made the decision to step out of the consulting path and pursue a career in gaming, leaving Deloitte to work as director of strategic planning and analysis for Pinnacle Entertainment in Las Vegas.
Grim cites the move as one of her proudest career moments, reflecting on the courage it took to enter a new industry. “Prior to that decision, everything was set years in advance—go to college, find a job, go to grad school, go back to consulting to get grad school reimbursed,” she says. “And then there was a black hole where I could suddenly do whatever I wanted, and I didn’t know what to do anymore. I’m so glad that I took that leap.”
Grim found her current role as VP of labor and hospitality analytics at Caesars Entertainment in 2018. She works on labor and hospitality initiatives that range from implementing an online scheduling system for over 45,000 hourly employees to optimizing performance of the hotel and VIP charter plane program.
Asked about her favorite projects, she recounts one she worked on at both Pinnacle and Caesars. “Both companies wanted to implement new wage floors to better support team members financially,” she states. “In both cases, my recommendations were approved and implemented, and it was an incredible feeling, not only from my contribution, but also from the commitment senior leadership made to our front-line team members. These were also unique projects for me, as I really got to roll my sleeves up and build the financial models myself, which is not something I get to do as often anymore in a leadership role.”
Grim sees the future of the industry in its young professionals, and to that end she launched the Caesars Analytics mentorship program in 2019. Observing the struggle of several new team members, Grim describes why she started the program:
“I was motivated to do this after having three recent hires open up to me about their transition into the company. It reminded me of my own struggles in finding my place in such a large organization.” Grim has now matched over 50 mentor/mentee pairs in a department of over 150, helping junior team members develop their careers within the department, company, and industry. Says Grim, “If I can help one person find their voice, or build a mentor relationship that lasts, I’ll be happy.”
Her advice to these young industry professionals echoes her own experiences: “Be curious, ask questions, be resourceful, and care about the details. Be patient and focus on developing your skills. Don’t stress the money; it will come.”
On how young professionals can establish themselves, she says, “The status quo is finally getting chucked out the window, creating new opportunities to develop a different breed of industry leaders.” For Grim, the way to optimize both company profits and personal fulfillment is through embracing change, questioning assumptions, measuring everything, and stepping out of the structured path.