Andrea Arrigo kicked off her career as an analyst for an ad agency in Lisle, Illinois, and was promoted a year later to a senior analyst position. Her bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington afforded her a healthy variety of ways to advance in the business world, and after her venture in media and advertising, it was a job offer from a casino that pointed her towards a career in casino gaming.
Accepting the offer, she became a financial analyst at Harrah’s Joliet Casino & Hotel. This position then led to the change that would have the biggest impact to date on her career, her relocation to Las Vegas. She was offered two positions simultaneously in Las Vegas, and she accepted the more challenging of the two, predicting that a more difficult job would also bring less competition, allowing her to advance to a higher role after mastering her current one. Her prediction was right, and after absorbing every bit of new knowledge that she could during her first six months at Caesars Entertainment, she was promoted to a management position in less than a year’s time.
Arrigo transferred to various casino management positions in the course of her early gaming career and certainly found that managing people was not without its challenges. With a background in producing work product herself, she discovered that getting used to delegating work to team members instead of taking it on directly was an adjustment.
Even more difficult was accustoming herself to taking disciplinary action with team members, and she knew many a sleepless night in those formative years. But in time, she developed strong and direct communications with her team members in which clear expectations were set, finding that this practice made the process easier for both sides. Arrigo also worked on breaking the habit of pressuring herself to have answers to every question posed to her.
“Having all the answers is not always possible,” she says. “It’s better to instead focus on being prepared to find answers. Being resourceful is extremely valuable.”
Fortunate to form strong relationships with many of her direct managers and other senior managers throughout her career, Arrigo relied on them as mentors who she could call with career questions. She also sought mentorship from her peers at times, recognizing that their unique professional experiences and skill sets were something she could draw from.
Now as director of database marketing at Palms Casino Resort, she looks back fondly at the experience of opening this property, citing it as her most challenging and rewarding professional experience so far. The most compelling stage of this process for her was forming a team and watching them make contributions together to achieve common goals. Proud of her team’s achievements, she states, “I believe my team is a reflection of my leadership. When they succeed, I succeed.”
Arrigo offers sage advice for today’s young professionals looking to move up in the gaming industry. To her, leadership is all about people, so building strong relationships with team members, peers and leaders alike is crucial to success. She credits her leadership accomplishments to the fact that she understands both her team and what their roles entail.
To future leaders, she advises, “While moving up the corporate ladder quickly has many advantages, be sure to also take the time to learn as much as you can along the way. Be curious, ask questions, and be open to learning from those who have different experiences than you.”