The JTB Business Travel team is made up of committed professionals from diverse backgrounds who work in countries around the world.
We regularly introduce different members of the team here on the Waypoint Blog. This month, we’ll visit the United Kingdom to introduce you to Kieran Ingham-Burroughes, who works as a Global Client Development Manager.
How long have you been with the company?
I’ve been here for about 18 months now. I’m based in the Midlands in Central England.
What do you like most about your job?
I like that every day is different, and I get to deal with fantastic people. The other thing is the company itself — I love JTB’s view on the way things work, they are family-oriented, and we have great work-life balance. Until now, I’ve never been in a job where you really want to get up in the morning and work.
What inspires you?
My family. We have four kids, 2 boys and 2 girls, who drive me absolutely nuts, even more so working at home. But they are fantastic. Everything we do, everything we see, is based on family.
What does a usual day look like for you?
It’s supporting and communicating with JTB Business Travel customers, building relationships day in and day out, analyzing data. Every day is different. It might be preparing a presentation. It might be presenting to someone. It might be traveling or sales calls or writing agreements. It really does change on a day-to-day basis.
What’s your life motto or slogan?
I have a couple actually. One is: Everything happens for a reason. I actually use that motto when people ask me about JTB Business Travel and why I moved into this role. I was made redundant in my last job, and I would not have found JTB if I was not made redundant. Another is: Buy nice or buy twice. If you buy something cheap, you’ll be replacing it shortly.
Why did you decide to start working in the travel industry?
It extends back to when I was a kid actually. We always traveled as a family, and I just loved it: going overseas, going to the airport, getting on a plane, staying in a hotel.
Everyone I knew wanted to be a professional footballer, but I wanted to be a hotel manager. My drive to travel was there from a young age. I even left university and moved overseas to work for a travel company.
I tried to leave the industry about 6 years ago, but it just wasn’t the same. Travel is like a big community, a big global family. There are people at travel shows, and, although you’re competitors, everybody knows everybody. It’s just such a friendly, addictive industry to be a part of.
What question do Business Travelers ask you most often when planning travel for work?
They don’t plan travel through me, but I often get questions about travel restrictions. The way COVID is nowadays, people do ask about travel restrictions. We point them to a service called Sherpa, and it opens up a good conversation with them. I’m in more of an account manager role, so I get into discussions about data and answer questions around payments and invoicing.
What is the most valuable thing you have learned from working with Business Travelers?
Everybody’s different. Every company is different, and every company has a different objective with travel. Each Traveler is different, too, so it’s an industry that surprises you. Especially with how quickly things are changing.
What advice would you give an employee who is just getting started with travel for work?
Connect. Build a community. It’s a fantastic industry to work in, so build a network and community of industry peers, because it really is great to share knowledge with people.
What is the most common mistake you see Travelers make that you wish you could prevent?
One of the things I do in my role is support on cost savings. For me, it’s looking at the company that has a travel policy that’s actually costing them more money — yet you can’t do anything about it because it’s the policy at a high level in the company. For example, spending 9,000 Euros on a flight because it’s in-policy. I can only advise, but there’s nothing physical I can do about it. You could be saving money here, but because of policy it’s out of control.
Is there anything you do in your personal life that has benefited you in your work life?
Just work-life balance, because I make a conscious effort to break away every day. So, for me, it’s having that time out on a lunch break to go for a run, play squash, break away from work to refocus for the afternoon. It’s always helpful no matter your industry to have equal balance on work and mental health. For me, doing some exercise really freshens the mind.
What do you enjoy most about working with people who travel for work?
It’s purely my passion for travel. I love it so much. It gives me the opportunity to talk about it day in and day out.
Have you ever been to Japan?
No, but I would love to go. It’s on my bucket list.
What is your favorite travel destination?
The best place I’ve been hands down was a personal holiday in the Maldives. Just amazing. It’s beautiful, peaceful, relaxing. Also, it’s a little bit, not scary, but just knowing that the environment is taking its toll on the Maldives and that some of the islands might not be around. I have a big focus on the environment and CO2 and how we can help in that area. It’s a huge topic.
Where is your favorite place to eat/drink/enjoy when you travel?
I’ll be a bit more generic. When I’ve been traveling and I’ve got no specific place I’d like to go, I’ve always enjoyed just being with colleagues — having a meal with them, chatting and getting to know them personally without having to discuss work.
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