Jane Aavik

Manager - Ad Hoc Placing - Group Tours

Jane was persuaded to join JacTravel by a senior staff member who was keen for her to develop the potential he'd identified. Starting out as a Product Executive in Group Tours based in London, she was quickly promoted to Supervisor and then to Manager - all in the space of three years.

The Product Team has grown in importance since I've been with JacTravel, and that's been very satisfying to be a part of. That's where the opportunities have come from for me - that and the fact people have been very supportive in helping me to progress my career.

How my career at JacTravel has developed

I came into JacTravel from another travel company as a Product Executive. That role involves placing groups in hotels, so I was basically performing the same job as the people I now manage. After that I was promoted to Supervisor and then to Manager, all within about three years, so things have moved fast. Now I manage a team of five, negotiating rates and contractual terms, and buying accommodation in the UK and Ireland for group bookings.

What I enjoy most at JacTravel

I especially like the level of trust I'm afforded and the support I get from the senior team. I really do feel like they have the faith in me to manage my team well and to make the right decisions. If I say I need to go and see a client straight away, then they trust me to make that call. I've also succeeded in recruiting some great people to the team and find I really enjoy the day-to-day challenges of management.

The most important skills for my role

It's all about knowing people - developing relationships with suppliers and being able to negotiate space and rates for a group when no one else can. That requires persistence and a degree of charm. It's also important to maintain relationships with other internal departments, to meet deadlines and make sure everyone is working towards the same goal. There's quite a lot of multi-tasking, prioritising and organisation involved.

My advice for JacTravel career seekers

Ask questions, be flexible and approach things with an open mind. Put in your own research to enhance the product and come up with your own ideas. Try to see things from another perspective and don't be afraid to suggest new ways of doing things. JacTravel is a growing company and opportunities are arising all the time; they have for me, so be ambitious.

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“During my 20+ years of working in hotels in and around Edinburgh, I have always worked with JacTravel in both the group and FIT markets. I strongly believe that they are a market leader in their field and find each and every team member I come across to be professional and courteous.”

Crowne Plaza Hotel - Edinburgh