Posts Tagged With: TUI Specialist and activity

Good times (in an office…)

With Christmas almost upon us and the rest of the Grads having a great time abroad, Ben reflects on the good times he’s had recently in the Brighton and Surbiton offices.

I’ve never been a fan of working in an office. Sitting all day, staring at a computer screen, occasionally making a cup of coffee is a little… er… dull. Fortunately, there are times when working in an office can be a lot of fun. Aside from the fascinating projects I’ve been working on recently (more info to come in the new year), the social side can also be great. Furthermore, I think a good social environment can create a happy workforce, which is essential for a business to prosper.

For example, whilst in Brighton with the Sector’s eCommerce and iExplore team, we had “International Food Fridays”. Brave volunteers would sign up and promise to make the national dish of whichever country came out of the hat. I was given Portugal. Unfortunately I’ve never been to Portugal and had no idea what to make. Fortunately, there was a resident Portuguese guy (Fred Cardoso) who was there to advise/encourage/pressure me to make sure it was a success!

The result can be seen in the picture below and (to my relief) it went down really well:

For someone that never cooked a Portuguese dish, Ben got really near a Portuguese Chef” – Fred, resident Portuguese food expert.

There was also Movember, Halloween bake sales and an amazing place to have lunch (see pics below).

I have recently moved to the Crystal Ski office in Surbiton, where there is also a great social atmosphere. We’ve had a huge Christmas party, numerous cakes, several gingerbread houses and even wrapped the Product Director’s desk up in Christmas wrapping paper! ‘Tis the Season!

I hope you enjoy the pictures below and have a great Christmas wherever you are.

Categories: Ben Gill | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

This underground lair must grow

Guy reporting from really quite rainy Brighton

Let me invite you into the basement of the TUI e-commerce team. Search Engine Optimisation, copy writing (a lot of people ignore the importance of quality writing, but how can a product be seen as quality if what’s written on the page is not both accurate and enticing) conversion optimisation, new product development, usability – an awful lot goes on down here. This is why I am very happy to be on a placement here at the moment. I think from my stints at TUI Marine and Adventure Tours Australia I’ve really realised the opportunity – indeed imperative – to reduce our spend on selling through third parties and shift further towards selling direct online. Consumers need our companies’ websites to be the easiest and best way of booking a holiday, and that lowers our costs, the benefits of which are passed back in turn. That’s got to be even more important in an environment where our most important source market, the UK, continues to experience falling real incomes, and it’s for our long term survival that we have to catch up with low-cost airlines and others in delivering our more complex travel product effectively online.

Clearly travel agents are doing something that at a product level we don’t do quite well enough yet; offer a personalised, local and total booking process. Getting not only our soon-to-launch and brand new adventure portal to fulfil some of those characteristics but also helping other TUI Specialist and Activity companies to meet those sort of criteria is our raison d’etre, and why I believe the function here will continue to grow.

On the Brighton front – I’m enjoying living here, especially the opportunity for windsurfing (am doing my RYA levels at the moment, got to love a good certificate), going out and luring friends down from London for a day out at the sea side. I also have bought Groupon yoga classes – bargain – in order to enhance my physical and spiritual alignment, but am yet to get there early enough to get a place in the class… obviously everyone else had the same idea!So quick and easy to the continent

The other day I went with some new Brighton friends for a Eurotunnel day trip to France and Belgium – taking advantage of a proximity to the continent I have never enjoyed before (as this is my first time living in South East England). That said, being back in Europe means that I’m finding myself going away most weekends and during the week too to London. Back to Scotland again last weekend for a wedding in St. Andrews. It’s Essen in Nordrhein-Westfalen this weekend to visit a uni mate from Edinburgh, Compass (left-wing think tank) conference the following weekend, and I’m going to try and get on a TUI flight to Florida over a weekend to visit friends from my first placement. Problem is, they’ve been so conservative with capacity this year for the UK that staff perks are barely useable – there are never any seats anywhere! Anyway – back to link checking, we need to make sure the adventure portal works well from its live birth.

Categories: Guy | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Enter Kelly Roche


I’m Kelly Roche and I cannot wait to start the graduate development programme this autumn! It’s such a privilege to have been chosen from so many applicants.

I studied modern languages at Cambridge University which involved a year abroad in Salamanca, Spain. Since graduating in June 2010, I have been living and working in Berlin a fantastic city!

Most of my work experience has been in tourism, educational travel and English language teaching. Whilst all of the divisions appeal to my interests, I am particularly excited about working in the fast-growing Education Division.


Categories: Kelly | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Our blog: one month old

Today marks the day of the first handover of the blog.  I think we’ve done fairly well so far to keep the entries coming – so I’d like to thank my fellow grads for making the first month such a success.  It’s going to be a really good way of keeping a public record of some of the key events of the graduate scheme, as well as letting the rest of you know how we’re finding it.  Feel free to interact with the blog – comment on anything you find interesting, agree/disagree with, or just fancy writing something down. 

So, without further ado, I’d like to hand over to Peter Buckley, who will be editing the blog for the month of December. I look forward to editing it again in May, when I’m sure it’ll be both full of extra features and a lot thicker with entries.


Categories: Ali, Ben Ireland, Guy, Janet, Jonathon, Pete | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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