Like many graduates, I left university without much of a clue about what I wanted to do, but a brief stint with a telecommunications company led me to realise the importance of doing what you love and working in an industry about which you’re completely passionate.
From Russia specialist to Product Executive
The combination of regular adventures abroad and my Russian degree led me to Audley, where I joined as Russia Specialist in our London office, waxing lyrical about one of my favourite countries all day. Not long after I was sent on additional research trips and was soon selling regions as diverse as New England in the USA and Egypt. After a couple of years I made the jump to Audley’s Product team, taking a step back from sales and focusing on the services and experiences that we offer in North America. This was a great opportunity to use my knowledge of the USA, but also to learn more about Canada, which is a country I knew comparatively little about. It also saw me move offices to Witney, which as you can imagine was quite a big change from Shepherd’s Bush!
The role of a Product Executive
I really love the diversity of working in Product. Part of my role supports the sales, marketing and website teams at Audley, which might see me organise destination training for specialists, or writing text for our client documentation, magazine and website. Another important aspect of my job is liaising with our suppliers in North America who contract our hotels and tours: this could mean working with them to develop exciting new product for our clients, organising specialist’s educational trips and press trips, or collaborating with them to solve operational issues as and when they arise. Lots of networking is involved too and I’ve been able to represent Audley at trade shows both in the UK and in North America. One thing for sure is that there’s never a dull moment.
Creating cocktails in New Orleans
It’s impossible to pick a favourite travel story, there are so many. My most recent trip with Audley was to New Orleans earlier this year, where I was lucky enough to take a class in the French Quarter with one of the top bartenders in the US (for real: he had a certificate to prove it), who showed me how to make classic Hurricane and Sazerac cocktails, whilst telling me about the city’s colourful history and unique culture. The drinks weren’t anything like the luminous concoctions that are peddled to tourists on Bourbon Street and I was pretty pleased with my efforts!
Career development opportunities
At the moment I think it’s a great time to be working at Audley; as the company grows there are new roles and career development opportunities in all three offices coming up all the time which makes me feel excited about the future. However, it’s the people here that make it a truly wonderful place to work; it’s true to say that a love of travel is at the heart of what everyone does here and it’s great to work alongside like-minded people. The socials here aren’t bad either.
To begin your career in travel, browse the latest vacancies on our careers website.