VRWS Leadership Interview of the Day
In approaching the 9th edition of the Vacation Rental World Summit, we’re releasing a series of interviews to leaders, key players and highly motivated people in our industry whose companies make a deep impact in our space and will be present at VRWS.
The aim is to get you some insight into these leaders and the company they founded, manage or work for, as well as getting some behind the scenes on their thinking, their motivation and their drive.
How would you describe your career path and what brought you to Booking.com?
“My career path into the travel space has been exciting and somewhat unintentional. At university I studied international development and began my career working with the United Nations and various other nonprofit organizations, and fully intended to stay in the development sector. But after a few temporary positions and consultancies, I made a career shift to the travel and hospitality sector when I began working with Vacasa in 2015 on their international expansion program. Since then, I have also worked with other industry leaders such as Rented and now I am very happy to be working at Booking.com on their Partner Success Programs. What brought me to Booking.com was their industry reputation as a thought leader and trend setter, as well as many positive accounts from both current and previous Booking employees in my network.”
You meet a few interns at Booking.com who are just moving their first steps in the hospitality industry. How would you motivate them to become a Program Manager one day?
“I would tell anyone wanting to get into Program Management to study all of the templates and best practices that they can (there are great materials available for free online), and then throw the playbook out the window and be ready to adapt and innovate each and every day. If you love bringing organization and processes to chaos, this is the right career for you. There is never a dull moment in program management, especially in the ever-changing OTA and travel industry. Also, I would network as much as you can. Most people from program teams in this industry will take the time to speak with you.”
You’ve been a solid advocate of remote working lately. How do Booking.com policies reflect your vision of the future of work?
“At this time, my team is embracing the hybrid work environment and allowing employees to work remotely when appropriate. Empowering employees to take on in-office and WFH opportunities has proven highly successful for my team, and has not had a negative impact on productivity. Personally, I love hybrid work and enjoy the option to collaborate and socialize with my team in the office one day, and then from home in my yoga pants the next! I personally believe that hybrid work will be the future of the travel and hospitality industry, but only time will tell.”
VRWS 22 is about to land in Porto. What do you expect from the overall experience?
“I am just excited to have in-person events back on again. My last in-person VRWS was in Lake Como and I thought it was a very successful (and fun) event. I really just expect the VRWS in Porto to be as fun, collaborative and informative as it has been in previous years, and I look forward to reconnecting with people from the industry that I haven’t seen in too long.”
You’ll have the opportunity to meet Julia and the Booking.com team on Sept. 15th-16th
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