Claire Blake, senior product manager for Tui, tells Madeleine Barber about the proudest moments of her career to date and the advice that’s got her to where she is now
With parents who collectively spent more than four decades working for Tui, taking a role at the operator’s head office during a summer break from university seemed natural for Claire Blake (29). Almost 10 years later Claire has risen through the ranks at Tui, from its after-travel contact centre to the product department, and now leads a team of six as senior product manager.
But working for Tui is “more than a family connection”, she says. “Holidays were the highlight of my childhood and travel has always been something I’ve had a passion for.”
Day to day, Claire and her team are responsible for managing the air capacity and hotels portfolio for the operator’s destinations to ensure Tui customers have a good amount of choice and flexibility. This means they often have to pre-empt trends in the market to plan effective strategies.
“What I love about my job so much is that it’s always moving and evolving, no two days are the same and you don’t know what to expect – it keeps you on your toes,” she says.
One moment that stands out as one of Claire’s proudest is launching both Sharm El Sheikh and Tunisia simultaneously. She explains how the challenge helped her develop her skillset: “No team had ever had to juggle this before, and juggling the priorities wasn’t easy, but once the destinations started to sell it taught me lessons about creating a collaborative environment, and it was good for building relationships quickly across the business.”
Claire is also one of 11 volunteers to manage the Tui commercial apprenticeships scheme and has helped the operator double its apprentice intake. She says this is another of her proudest achievements along with being included in the TTG 30 Under 30 class of 2020 after following the initiative for many years.
“I grew up at Tui, my view is a Tui view, so for me [being a part of TTG’s 30 Under 30] is about broadening my horizons, getting different perspectives, learning from the best and taking advice.”