From Arinsal in Andorra to Winter Park in USA, I checked them all, every resort page, photo and map for every single Crystal ski resort worldwide, phew! Although at the time I was slowly losing the will to live, in hindsight I realised that in spending days on end looking at all this information I have now become quite the expert in ski resort knowledge! Continuing with the theme of building upon my knowledge of Crystal, this week I spent a lot of time with various heads of departments, including sales, finance and commercial, to get a really good grasp of how they work. Having worked as a ski rep for a couple of seasons, (albeit for Inghams, probably Crystal’s biggest competitor!) I knew how the customer-facing parts of tour operating worked, but it was really useful understanding how the back-end functions.
This week also marked the first of my fortnightly meetings with my mentor, Mathew Prior, the MD of the Specialist Holidays Group. Having spent many seasons as a holiday rep himself before rapidly propelling himself into the upper echelons of the Specialist and Activity Sector, we were able to share our experiences of working in the customer side of the travel industry, before he went onto to offer his words of wisdom about Crystal, the travel industry in general, and careers. We finished the session deciding on what our relationship as mentor and protégé would and wouldn’t involve, and I left feeling very privileged to have someone as successful and respected as Mathew as my mentor.
Mid-week, I had the first meeting to discuss initial guidelines for the project that I will be managing. The crux of the project is to improve user traffic into the Crystal Ski and Summer “sales” sites, while improving search engine optimisation and not detracting users from those sites. Being a somewhat self-confessed technophobe, this should be a great opportunity for me to improve (and in some cases begin!) my understanding of websites, search engines and everything else in between. Watch this space.
To finish the week, I joined my team for a “working together” session in Brighton, which involved the Insights personality type identifier exercises that I had already done in Lake Garda a few weeks previously, but it was still a good bit of fun. Following that we all went out for drinks and then onwards to a comedy club, where the acts included a Englishman detailing the not-so-pleasantries of the weekend night bus, an Irishman who had convinced his colleagues that Wednesday no longer existed in Ireland and an inebriated American woman with a particular disdain for Lily Allen!