Overseas Location: Gran Canaria
Favourite things from the 5 week overseas experience: Apart from the charity walk that I have written about below in a previous blog, I really cannot pick one single best bit. I have, without a doubt, loved every single part of my overseas experience.
I got to spend several days in the stunning hotels with our reps to learn about their day to day activities (turns out – there are no typical day to day activities, you can never anticipate what your day with entail as a rep!). I got to talk to our customers with the aim of understanding why they chose to fly with Thomson (typical answer; I don’t really know why, but we just love it!). I got to spend time with all teams in the back office (admin, agents, area managers, resort team managers (RTMs), purchasing and more!) and I even got to go on some incredible excursions (camel rides, scuba diving, boat trips, shopping in Las Palmas, and a Drag Queen Comedy Show!).
Needless to say I was kept busy, but I loved every single day. If I had to pick one absolute best bit in relation to the work I would say the people, because the Gran Canaria team had such a great group mentality and everyone was just brilliant. If I could pick one best bit from outside the work then it is a close call between the beach and the never ending tapas (the button on my trousers popped in my last week!).
My key learnings: I think the key takeaway that I had from my overseas placement is an appreciation of the difficulty but importance of becoming a more internationally integrated team, and the admiration of the work that our reps do.
To be completely honest, I was expecting a reps life to be made up of pretty calm days with a few excursion sales, maybe a few room switches and an occasional problem to solve but it was so much more than that! These guys know everything there is to know about everything the customer may ask, often before they even ask! From excursions, to the best restaurants in the area, to the bus timetables, to the taxi fares, to the best rooms in the hotel – they know it all. Whilst I would be frantically flipping through my notes trying to find the price of an excursion the rep would have told the customer the price, best pickup time, must have items, the best time in the day to go, the names of the guides, and the best restaurant or bar to pop into in the area – without a second glance on their iPad. The conversations and questions from customers were also completely unpredictable and I was surprised at how well these guys adapted and solved any issue, even if it was something they had never head off before. I take my hat off to them.
Maja Lunsjo (UK&I Commercial graduate)