Deborah updates us on her first weeks in Clearwater…
In the last three weeks I’ve packed my life into a single (though I’ll admit rather large) suitcase; I’ve spent a week in Sussex absorbing as much knowledge as possible about TUI, the travel industry and even my ‘inner self’; I’ve relocated to Florida (my first visit to the States); and started my first ‘adult’ job in a business area in which I have no experience.
Yet somehow, writing this blog has been my most challenging task so far! How do I convey in a few short paragraphs the warm welcome I have received in joining such a fantastic company, the responsibility I have already been given and the emotions I have felt in trying to overcome the initial challenges of relocating and working abroad?
Starting in the TUI Marine office in Clearwater, Florida, I am working on two projects simultaneously. The first is focused on implementing a new online store for Sunsail and the Moorings provisioning, with the aim that we can greatly increase the revenue made from ancillary food and beverage purchases. I am also looking into the opportunities of entering the ‘Superyacht’ market (64ft-100ft yachts) through either acquisition or organic growth/new product development.
It has been said that American’s don’t do anything by halves and Halloween is certainly no exception! I spent my first two weeks at TUI Marine working in the ‘e-Comm Crypt’, skilfully decorated with tombstones, cobwebs and creepy crawlies and complete with zombie sound effects. And of course Pete and I threw ourselves right in to the costume competition.
I also took part in a TUI Marine community project where we worked with Habitat for Humanity building a 3 bed house in the St Petersburg area. I hope those windows are watertight!
Between Halloween dress-up, a bit of manual labour, and several American lunches (that will take more than a few gym sessions to shift) I feel like I have barely begun my Stateside adventure. In fact I still pinch myself each morning to make sure it’s all real. I mean how many people wake up at 7am with a smile on their face, looking forward to their day at work? Long may this continue!