Barrhead Travel’s Jade Semple explains to TTG how staying proactive and being creative are essential skills for a career in travel.
While Barrhead Travel’s business development and product manager Jade Semple, 24, has always had a passion for travel – she once considered a career as an air stewardess – it was guidance from a mentor on an employability course that steered her towards a job at one of Scotland’s biggest travel firms.
“My mentor helped me apply for various travel agencies and three months later, I landed an interview with Barrhead and got an apprenticeship,” says Semple. “During my apprenticeship, I had the chance to upskill in several departments and was offered a marketing executive position when I graduated,” she adds.
From there, Semple moved to business development and was later promoted to business development and product manager.
“I work closely with our directors to manage our business objectives, as well as with my team, putting plans in place to achieve our goals,” Semple explains.
She believes travel’s changing landscape keeps things interesting: “The nature of the industry means [our objectives] can change in a short space of time. Responding is a challenge, but the fast-paced environment keeps things exciting.”
With her sights set on a successful, long term travel career, Semple is well aware of the qualities it takes to excel.
“Success in the travel industry requires plenty of planning, assessing and in more cases than not, reacting,” she says.
Semple also hopes the travel industry can become more responsible. “To be smarter, better and fairer we need to pay more attention to our footprint on the world,” she says.
On a fam trip to Peru with GAdventures, Semple was able to experience responsible travel for herself via the projects of the operator’s Planeterra Foundation.
“It was one of the most inspiring trips of my life,” Semple tells me. “The inspirational work of the Planeterra project made for a unique and rewarding experience.”
For others hoping to make their mark in travel, Semple advises: “Make sure you have a strategy in place with room to remain creative, then be relentlessly proactive to achieve goals.”
Lisa McAuley, managing director at Gold Medal and Travel 2, sponsors of Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders, says:
“Jade demonstrates the exemplary power of a graduate programme and the upskilling opportunities it can provide. Her commitment and dedication to protecting the environment is just as inspirational. It is evident Jade thrives in a fastpaced workplace, and thanks to her mentor she has found herself in a role where she can combine those skills with her passion for travel.”