Jennifer Gilchrist

Account Development Manager - Group Tours

Jennifer joined JacTravel straight from university 11 years ago and likes it so much she's stayed. During that time Jennifer has switched from the B2B Hotels side of the business to Group Tours, and has progressed from operations to management. She now manages a team of seven in Edinburgh.

Not only have I moved from B2B Hotels to Group Tours, and from operations to management, but I've been supported with training every step of the way - whether that's been shadowing other people or taking my Level 3 NVQ in Travel & Tour Operation.

How my career at JacTravel has developed

I wanted to use my Italian degree after graduating and JacTravel gave me that opportunity as an Operations Executive on the B2B Hotels side of the business - mostly dealing with hotel bookings. Then I moved into Account Development and found I really enjoyed the creative aspect of working with groups and putting together itineraries. Now I'm a team manager and responsible for a range of key accounts.

What I enjoy most at JacTravel

There's a very supportive culture here. People tend to stay, which means there's a lot of experience you can call upon, and there's a chance to grow with the company and progress. In my particular role I enjoy being able to build relationships with clients, and some of them I've already known for years. Also the variety and creativity involved in meeting clients' needs and overcoming problems. But it's the people that make JacTravel.

The most important skills for my role

You've got to be able to multi-task and negotiate well. But really it's all about people skills. You're dealing with clients and suppliers all the time, and at the end of the day you've got to persuade them to choose you over others. Without clients and suppliers, we wouldn't have a business. Equally there are internal colleagues and teams to consider, all of whom have their own targets; you've got to be able to listen to their needs and see the bigger picture.

My advice for JacTravel career seekers

First off, do your research and be sure you know what JacTravel is about. It's also important to present a positive attitude and to seize the chance to turn problems into opportunities. Let others see what you can do and don't be afraid to demonstrate your desire to move up. Others in the company have recognised my abilities and rewarded me - so I speak from experience.

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“I really enjoy working with the Groups Team at JacTravel! It’s a real two-way cooperation which is why the partnership works so well year round.”

Hilton Hotels - Paddington