I came into the Cruise department having little to no experience in being a “working professional”. In the weeks leading up to my first day I poured over “first impressions at your new job” articles and spent whatever remained of my student loan on suits and “proper looking shoes”, all to make sure I was fully ready for the big scary corporate world that lay before me. And then I joined the Cruise team…
The first thing I need to comment on regarding the Cruise team is the amount of birthday parties they throw. Every week I had invitations to little celebrations, and there was even a cake rota. To be honest, I am surprised any of those suits I bought still fit! But that’s just the thing about Cruise, they are like a big family and they really value each person in the department.
But despite all the fun, the past three months has also presented a lot of challenges and development opportunities for me. I have had the chance to try my hands at a whole range of different tasks. Some of my favourite responsibilities have included going from supporting the team in the production cycle of the Thomson Cruises brochure to managing the production of my own brochure, the Thomson Future Cruises Brochure. I also researched and proposed new page designs for future brochure editions, in order to make the brochure more in line with our webpage, and allow us to focus more on our modernisation strategy of increasing an online presence. This was a particularly exciting project for me because it enabled me to reach out to a range of interesting and talented people around the business in order to have their input on the project. I also got to own this project completely and come up with my own creative solutions, which I finally proposed to my manager. One of the great things here at TUI is that we can see how our projects get carried forward even after we leave our placements, and I am excited to see how my research will impact the future brochure edition.
Overall, my placement in Thomson Cruises has been a great experience for me. Not only have I had the chance to understand what it really means to have a full time job and be a part of such a vibrant industry, but I have also had the opportunity to attend my first pantomime (it’s behind you!!!), dress up like a Jamaican, and even sport a moustache for Movember – none of which I would even have considered before joining the team.
So if I was to sum up my first placement, I would have to say that it consisted of a lot of learning, a lot of laughing, and a lot of cake.
And as one of my co-workers said, “You might not be able to fly, but you can always float – Cruise for life!”
Maja Lunsjo (UK&I Commercial Placement)