Whilst the Grad Scheme is great fun and a steep learning curve, the eventual destination is to find ourselves a role within the company. We’ve had fun getting to know this year’s intake of Grads, but where have the intake from 2010 ended up? Over the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at some of last year’s graduates in their new roles. This week: Chris!
Who are you?
My name is Chris, 23, from Coventry. I graduated in 2010 from Newcastle University with a 2:1 (Hons) in Business Management and Marketing. I joined the TUI UK Graduate Leadership Programme in September/October 2010.
Why did you choose the Tui UK Grad scheme?
I chose the TUI UK grad scheme because it offered such a wide/varied range of experiences that not many other graduate schemes did. This, coupled with the fact that holidays are something that everyone gets excited about, made the scheme really appealing as not only would the scheme offer me the opportunity to gain a depth of experience in different areas of a global business, but also the fact that the work I could contribute to, would also go someway to ensuring that our millions of customers have a fantastic holiday, giving you a real ‘sense of worth’ in the work that you do.
In some ways, the programme has lived up to what I expected, but in other ways it has exceeded all expectations – the level of support and exposure that you are given, coupled with the endless opportunities to explore new areas of the business, have been far beyond what I could’ve imagined!
What roles did you do whilst on the scheme?
During the graduate programme, I worked in 5 different areas. The first of which was Holiday Experience. In this area, I was tasked with reviewing our current Welcome Meeting and Transfer Scripts, and making changes to the way in which we communicate with our customers overseas. This was a great way to really understand and appreciate our customers’ needs from day one, and how important they value these ‘touch points’ during their holiday.
From Holiday Experience, I moved into E-Commerce within the Distribution Division. Amongst others, my main project within the department, was to help introduce Behavioural Targeting onto our website; something that would enable us to offer our customers the best/most suitable holidays and prices, as well as gaining more of an insight into our customers online behaviour – this is proving more important as time goes on, given the continued rise of the online world!
My third placement was in the Long Haul Product department, within the Commercial Division. During my time in the department I gained a insight into the work that goes into pricing our holidays, and the work behind choosing the hotels/destinations we offer our customers. I was surprised at the level of involvement/ownership that was given to me, as I was put in charge of putting together the Winter 2012/13 strategy for Kenya, as well as helping with similar strategies for the Maldives and Goa.
My final placement on the graduate programme was within the Product and Service Development team, within the Airline Division. This exciting placement involved me working with one of our group companies, TCS & Starquest, who offer customers ‘once in a lifetime’, luxury trips Around The World. I was tasked with Project Managing a relaunch project of the entire programme, ranging from designing new menus, and selecting new crockery, to dealing with the Four Seasons hotel group….. a fantastic opportunity to see into the luxurious world of ‘top end’ holidaying.
What is your role now?
I am currently working in the Product and Service Development team, as a Product and Service Development Executive. The majority of my time is spent continuing to project manage the relaunch project for the TCS & Starquest programme, with the remainder of my time being spent working on the 787 Dreamliner and 767 Long Haul programmes… all very exciting!
How has the Grad scheme helped you?
The Graduate programme has helped me in several different ways – both personally, and professionally. On a personal level, the training and development coaching/courses we have had access to have provided me with transferable skills that have proven to be very valuable when moving from department to department, and will continue to do so for the rest of my career. Professionally, the programme has enabled me to have visibility of so many different departments and individuals within the business, all of which have helped me to secure my own ‘network of contacts’, and raise my own profile within the business.
What one tip do you have for future Grads?
When working at TUI, you have access to so many different and varied opportunities….. never turn any of them down!
Describe your grad scheme experience in 3 words:
Valuable, ‘A fantastic experience’, Fun