Hi, I’m Gemma Moret. I’m currently working as a Product Development Strategy Manager in the Purchasing team.
When did you join Thomson?
I joined Thomson on the Planning & Trading Graduate Scheme in September 2005 with 9 others
What was your first role?
A Planning & Trading Assistant looking after Kefalonia, Zante and Kos
What has your career path looked like since?
I progressed in the role to a Planning & Trading Executive and further to a Planning & Trading Manager after 2 year – looking after Greece, Portugal & Canaries. This role became a Product Manager at the time of merger with First Choice and I took on the new responsibilities of Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia. During this role I had the opportunity to really influence the strategic direction of our Turkey programme, massively growing capacity and adding a lot of new product, as well as battling against Thomas Cook in one of the only destinations where they were market leader.
In 2010 I was promoted to the position of Senior Product Manager, taking on more responsibilities in the team and deputising for my manager when required. I also lead the migration of the Portland brand into Thomson for the Product team. Having the desire to do something new and exciting, 9 months into my new role I was given the opportunity to go to Beijing to work on the Product stream of a project looking at introducing an outbound programme to the TUI China business. I took up this role and had a very enjoyable 3 months in China, meeting new people, sharing my knowledge and taking on a new challenge.
When I moved back to the UK I resumed my role in Product, continuing to lead the development of the Turkey programme.
What is your role now?
In September 2011 the Product team restructured, giving me the chance to apply for a secondment to cover the role of Product Development Strategy Manager. I was successful in getting this role and this is what I’m doing now. I’ve had a fantastic 10 months gaining insight into Product Development & Delivery as well as being able to input into the 5 year plan for our differentiated products. The role also gave me the challenge of managing one of the Companies strategic goals of moving Thomson to 90% Exclusive from 2013. This project is still under way but looks set to hit the goals that were set. It’s been a challenging project at times but thoroughly enjoyable and has given me exposure to lots of parts of the business and allowed me to build some new relationships.
Why have you stayed in tourism? And why have you stayed with TUI?
I’ve had a passion for travel from a young age, writing to BA for careers information at the age of 11 and doing work experience at Southampton Airport during my GCSE years. But strangely enough, even having studied languages at University, I never imagined myself working in the tourism industry. When my friend saw the graduate role advertised during my final year at University my thoughts began to change as it looked ideal. And having joined the company in 2005 and relocated to Luton I haven’t looked back. No two days are the same in the travel industry, there are always new things happening and challenges to face – that’s what makes it so exciting. When you’re working on Product management and Product development it definitely helps to be working with a product you have a passion for and holidays definitely fit that bill. I can’t imagine myself doing anything different at the moment and I think that’s partly down to TUI.
TUI has always provided the variety and progression opportunities that I’ve been after and offers a benefits package that competes with any PLC company. It’s really the people that make it though; everyone is passionate about what they do and there tends to be quite a buzz in the office.
What has been your most memorable moment?
I’ve actually got quite a lot but I’ll just mention a few.
From a career point of view it’s been having the opportunity to be involved in and lead some high profile projects that have allowed me to present to the Board. It’s also great to see things that you have driven and developed coming to fruition and being a success!
Alongside my role I’ve also enjoyed the time I’ve spent with Be Involved (employee forum) with the highlight being my trip to Majorca for the TUI Europa Forum. I got the chance to present ideas in front of our CEO Peter Long and Chairman Dr Michael Frenzel as well as then getting invited to join them for dinner.
On a more ‘extra-curricular’ note, I will never forget when I was asked to interview Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson. At the time he was doing the voiceover on the Thomson Ad and the company required someone ‘young’ and ‘fresh’ to interview him. I was terrified as I hadn’t been at TUI long, but he was really nice and it went really well. It was also followed by a double page spread in the TUI UK magazine with my mug shot on the front cover!
What words of wisdom would you pass on about working in the travel industry?
Enjoy every minute of it. It’s a competitive industry and is constantly faced with pressures and challenges but if you stop and remember that you are here to sell holidays and make people’s travel experiences special, it can make things always seem bright.