Stephen Thompson - My Hays Journey
I started back in 2010 in the Bath Travel days as a Trainee Travel Consultant at the Ferndown branch after spending a year at college studying Travel & Tourism. I was eager to learn and soon became qualified after six months training. Through this time I attended many training sessions at head office as well as having lots of in branch training from my lovely colleagues.
Over the years I met lots of lovely customers that I still deal with today and love hearing all about their holidays that I’ve sent them on.
In 2012, I was thrilled to be promoted to a senior level and took on more responsibility in the branch. In 2013, Bath Travel was bought by Hays Travel and brought with it, its amazing training department which opened lots of opportunity if you wanted to progress. After attending further training in management I was then promoted to Assistant Manager in 2015.
After a year in the role the opportunity came up for a Branch Manager’s position in our Southbourne Office and I knew it had my name written all over it. After a successful interview I was given the job and started managing the branch in 2016, I have never felt so proud. With this came a new team and a new challenge for me which I raring to go for.
I attended the retail manager’s conference at the end of the year in Marbella, and had fantastic time getting to know all my fellow managers and networking with various tour operators. This gave a really clear aim of what was expected and gave me the tools I needed to put in place for a successful year.
During my time at Hays I was given lots of opportunities to enhance my knowledge with educational trips, including Paris, Tenerife, a Nile Cruise in Egypt, Madeira, a Mediterranean Cruise, but by far the most amazing was Mauritius!
In 2017 I left Hays Travel to pursue a dream I had always had to work on board a cruise ship, where I spent a year travelling around Europe, South America and the Caribbean. Seeing the Northern Lights, Visiting Rio di Janeiro in Brazil and having a full transit if the Panama Canal were definitely my highlights. I even had some visits from my old clients!
However after a year I decided I’d enjoyed my time but was ready to head home, where I was then welcomed back to Hays with open arms. I would never have dreamed of working for anyone else! Since returning I am now back as Branch Manager in the Ferndown office, and loving every minute of it!