Tomorrow's Travel Leaders: 30 Under 30: Linda Kovacs
In collaboration with TTG Digital, the ITT and Guoman Hotels, C&M Travel Recruitment set out to discover the 30 most inspiring and dynamic people in the travel industry aged 30 years and younger - the 30 Under 30.
Here we profile Linda Kovacs, sales and customer care manager at Iglu.com.
Q: What tips do you have for young people looking to succeed in the travel industry?
A: "Don't be shy, but play it wisely. The journey starts with an entry-level job that you excel in. Then you have to look for opportunities for promotion. You have to be ready to take on a new challenge at all times as it might not come when you feel ready for it. Learn the new job and then expand it.
"Take on more, so your knowledge of the various roles grows and gives you more scope later on in your career. It is a balancing act though, as you don't want to take on too much too soon and end up doing a bad job. Give yourself time to learn everything new before taking on the next thing."
Q: Why did you want to get involved in the travel industry?
A: "I've always had a passion for travel, and in high school I had the opportunity to take an introduction to tourism. I loved it, so I decided to try it in travel. I went to university to become an economist with a tourism and hotel management speciality and enjoyed it very much, so after graduating I got a job at Iglu as a ski sales consultant. I've grown in the role and got promoted to a senior consultant, then a team leader and, three years ago, to the sales manager. I realised that sales and customer services can't exist without each other, so a year later I took on customer care too. I now have two more departments: ticketing and tailor-made for all the admin for our cruise bespoke service.
"I think it shows that if you are interested in travel and are hardworking, you can further your carrier quite quickly - especially if you have people around you recognising your efforts and you aren't afraid to suggest how to improve your own job. It will not be seen as a bad reflection on your work, but how innovative and dedicated you are."
Q: How does it feel to be in the final 30 of Tomorrow's Travel Leaders?
A: "It was a great feeling when I first learnt about it. Recognition plays a huge part in one's job satisfaction, so it is very important. As a manager and a leader of people, we are in a position to praise people for good work, recognise talent and dedication and motivate our colleagues. Being in the final 30 gave me a boost of confidence that I am going in the right direction."
Q: Has the recognition had any impact on your career?
A: "Certainly - I know more people in travel because of it. I met some of the industry's big names and [heard] their career stories throughout the series of dinners we have had. I went to the World Travel Market last year and I was also featured in TTG a few times. It's great publicity. I've been getting good job offers because Tomorrow's Travel Leaders put my name out there."