Sophie Nelson, travel and partnerships manager, international at Avis Budget Group, speaks to TTG about seizing opportunities and stepping outside your comfort zone
Sophie Nelson (24) got her lucky breakthrough into the travel industry during a university placement at Avis Budget Group. “Travel wasn’t the first thing that sprung to mind while I was searching for my placement, but I managed to get a position as a travel and partnership coordinator at Avis and that’s where I discovered my love for travel,” she explains.
She was so taken with the industry and the team she worked with while on the placement that she carried on working part-time at Avis while completing the rest of her degree and went on to join the company full-time as a travel and partnerships executive after graduating.
Within a year, Sophie was promoted to account manager, a role which allows her to work closely with travel agents and tour operators. Her favourite part of the job is the variety it offers day to day: “I like having responsibility for bringing in revenue and also that as an account manager you can be working on legal issues one day and then marketing or finance the next.”
Working at Avis has opened up new horizons for Sophie thanks to working as part of an international team and with colleagues overseas. “I get to understand how different markets operate and tailor marketing towards this, as well as the chance to travel,” she says.
Sophie puts her success down to her team, saying: “I wouldn’t be at this point in my career without them, especially as they nominated me for the 30 Under 30!”
The best thing about being part of the 30 Under 30 programme will be meeting other young industry professionals once lockdown is over, she says. “It will be great to see where they see the travel industry going in the years to come.”