Juliane Schittek, marketing manager B2C Europe at the Intrepid Group, tells Andrew Doherty how passion and open-mindedness has helped to forge her career path
A German native, Juliane Schittek, 26, studied for her undergraduate degree at the University of Cologne, majoring in business administration before taking an internship in China.
“I spent four months there and then finished in Shanghai six months later at Fudan University. I just loved the experience and figured that I should go back for longer to learn the language and understand the culture better.
“That’s how the idea of my master’s came about, which was a double degree in international management between Fudan and the Bocconi University in Milan.”
Schittek saw the marketing executive position at Intrepid Group on LinkedIn, and since joining the team in 2017 she has climbed the ranks to marketing manager, B2C Europe. She’s now responsible for the development, creation, implementation and execution of all marketing activities in Europe.
However, it wasn’t always plain sailing. “When I was in the marketing executive role our key markets in Central Europe weren’t performing at all, so we were down year-on-year and things weren’t looking great,” Schittek recalls. “Because I was the only person responsible at the time, the pressure was on me to come up with a solution.
“During that time I was still writing my postgraduate thesis and applying to represent the EMEA region at Intrepid’s inaugural women’s leadership forum, which I was selected for in the end.”
Despite the pressure, Schittek’s level-headedness saw her implement a marketing campaign that was responsible for 25% year-on-year revenue growth in Europe and a 120% surge in the size of her customer database.
Schittek says that her proudest moment was attending the women’s leadership forum in Cambodia.
“I got to spend time with 12 other members of the business and our senior management team too. Just knowing that my hard work had been recognised felt amazing.”
Now, she is looking forward to growing professionally within the company. “I’ve taken on a bit more of the business development role in my daily work. I always think that if I’m learning, I’m at the right place.”
For those considering a job in travel, Schittek has the following advice: “Young people put way too much pressure on themselves, me included. If you are passionate about travel then why not try the travel industry. If you don’t like it, you can always change.”
But it’s a quote from former US president John F Kennedy that Schittek cites as having the most profound effect on her: “‘Don’t ask why – ask instead, why not’. This describes what I do well – pushing boundaries and taking on new challenges.”
Regarding the Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders programme, Schittek has used the networking opportunities to form close ties with other members of the group and even help them in their own business ventures.
“I was asked to speak about an influencer programme I’ve set up at Intrepid by one of the women in the group. It’s these small opportunities that suddenly open with people you never knew existed before.”
“Juliane’s JFK quote reminded me of one from another former American president, Franklin D Roosevelt: ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself’.
“Juliane has been fearless in the advancement of her career, taking some incredible steps on the path to where she finds herself now. Studying and working in Cologne, Shanghai and Milan has given her an international perspective that has served her well and seen her grow her responsibilities in a very short time at Intrepid.
“Increasing year-on-year revenue by a quarter and more than doubling the size of her customer database in response to a previously poorly performing region is incredibly impressive.
“As Juliane says, young people care greatly about their responsibilities and put a lot of pressure on themselves. It reminds all of us at senior level just why we should acknowledge those achievements and contributions through campaigns like TTG’s 30 Under 30.”