Mike Fleishman ’09 explored his fascination with repairing technology from an early age. This became apparent in 1995, much to his parents’ distress, when they walked into their house to find their brand new computer had been dismantled into pieces on the floor. Fleishman, with confidence, said, “Just walk away, it’ll be fine.”
From his parents’ floor surrounded by computer parts, to the Baltimore Marriott’s bellman’s desk, to Times Square as the Marriott International’s Director of Hotel Technology, Fleishman’s path to success has been a culmination of his educational experiences with the iSchool as well as a marrying of his two passions: IT and hospitality. He says, “Some days I’m an IT guy and some days I’m a hotel guy – but I’m thrilled I’ve gotten to combine them both.”
The Path Taken
Fleishman reflected on his tech-focused curriculum with the iSchool, specifically his time in Professor Dave Molta’s classes. He said, “When I was in the iSchool, I took a lot of networking classes, and some advanced WiFi courses with Dave Molta.” He briefly digresses, admitting that these courses are far from undemanding, but also stresses the immense value of learning within a lab environment. Fleishman notes, “You’ll never get the chance to explore in labs like this again.”
He recalls going back to work his summer job as a bellman, and being curious as to how they handled Wifi, network deployment, and more concepts initially introduced to him by his iSchool classes. Soon, a connection between his future career and his present coursework began to establish itself, “What was purely academic here, became very real in the workplace,” noted Fleishman.
Before pursuing his combined passions for information technology and hospitality in the workforce, Fleishman spearheaded support initiatives on Syracuse’s campus as the Student Association’s Director of Technology. Notably, Mike fronted the project to push Syracuse to implement online student office voting via MySlice. Fleishman also cited this experience as extremely helpful with regards to being prepared for his role with Marriott International.
Combining the Hospitality and Technology Industries
Fleishman’s role with Marriott is very project-based. As the Director of Hotel Technology, his current focus is The Times Square EDITION hotel – a brand new property recently opened in March of 2019. Regardless of which project he’s assigned, Mike’s main priority and personal niche is his ability to ensure that the Marriott’s technological needs are met both internally and externally with customers.
“Working in technology doesn’t mean you need to work for a technology company, so many organizations need individuals with this specific skill set,” he said.
Fleishman’s time with the Marriott has pushed him to hold a variety of different responsibilities. Along the way, he’s also worked as the IT Systems Manager for several of Marriott’s brands, including Ritz Carlton, Renaissance, Courtyard, and more.
Feature photo: Mike Fleishman ’09 presents at the iSchool’s HindSights speaker series in fall 2019. Photo by Adrienne Graves.