Neil – Area Expert USA & Worldwide
What’s your career journey been like?
I joined Virgin Holidays fresh out of retail at aged 20! Some might say that life changing is a bit strong but this role has literally changed my life and my career opportunities, especially being a young working dad. I was invited to apply originally by the recruitment team via LinkedIn, I cruised through the first stage interview and then onto the assessment centre where I was really able to demonstrate my personality and skill set. Success then came in the form of an offer and after 6 weeks intensive training I was let loose on the phones and have never looked back. In my 5 years with Virgin Holidays I have been on 2/3 trips per year, combining my love for travel with my learning on the job.
What does your role involve?
Area Expert USA & Worldwide is a new role for me as of the end of 2018. It’s massively varied, working in the call centre we are the manager’s point of call for day to day support, we run the sales floor in their absence and offer encouragement and coaching to the team. The Area Experts are all studying for their ILM Management Level 3 qualification so we have to squeeze in time to study too. I love it as I still get time allocated to be on the phones for contact with our customers, building their holiday experiences. It’s a big juggling act but still lots of fun.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The People definitely make Virgin Holidays. It sounds corny but the team have become my second family. When someone’s having a bad day, they’ll do what they can cheer you up and keep you motivated! Since day one everyone has been so welcoming and friendly. Role wise, it’s different every day. Every call, the customer has different needs so it’s really about taking the time to understand who they are and craft their experience using the product knowledge that you have. It’s all about building rapport, delivering great service and those customers will come back year after year.
I enjoy that there is a real family vibe here and I feel it’s still the same even 5 years later. The atmosphere is welcoming and accepting of everyone- the environment is very inclusive and being yourself is a core value that is very much alive!
What’s been your best experience so far?
So many great memories here, but one that really sticks out is the peak launch trip in Dubai. The experience was staggering, from a boat party overlooking The Atlantis to having all of the chefs from the hotel showcasing the incredible food. It was an absolute privilege to be invited to attend. Virgin are really good at driving excitement and motivation, especially during peak sales there is such a great vibe. It may be wet and cold outside in January, you’re doing long shifts but driving forward to deliver your target and reap the rewards of doing so.
What would your advice be to anyone thinking of joining Virgin Holidays?
Be yourself in the recruitment process, and get ready to have your eyes opened to the world.
Destination Insider knowledge?
If you get to go to Nashville, then the best way to see the city is via a beer bike! It’s essentially a bar on wheels and you cycle through the city seeing all the major sites with the added bonus of having your own bar tender!
Career Opportunities at Virgin Holidays
People are central to Virgin Holidays’ success and if you’re interested in joining us we have a wide range of roles available from Apprenticeships to Leadership Roles as well as amazing learning and development opportunities.
To be the first to know about our vacancies, sign up for job alerts.