I’m already awake and anticipate my alarm before it even goes off. It’s my first week back at Expedia Group as a full-time employee since my internship finished a few months ago, and I don’t want to be late!
I leave my apartment, which isn’t too far away from the office. I walk for 15 minutes and listen to some podcasts and music along the way.
I arrive at the office where the lovely ladies at reception greet me. I walk down the hallway and into the kitchen where I put my lunch in the fridge. I see there is a fresh new bowl of avocados ready for the taking. The office staff has access to many items such as tea, coffee, bread, spreads, cereal, fruit, and even some Kit Kats and Tim Tams for that mid-afternoon sugar craving! I make myself some avocado toast and a coffee and head into the main section of the office where I greet my colleagues. I say hello to my internship mentor whom I worked closely with during my internship and quickly catch up on what’s happening.
I sit down at my desk and catch up with my fellow Market Associate, who I work closely with as part of one of the Market Management Teams here at Expedia Group. Together, we share a portfolio of over 500 hotels across the region, which we assist our Market Managers to account manage. We briefly catch up about what has been going on in the region and come up with a plan of how we are going to work together to prioritize our tasks and interactions with our hotel partners throughout the day. Our goal is to catch up with as many of our valued hotel partners as possible. I also briefly skim over my colour-coded Outlook calendar (as I am definitely a visual person!) so I can be prepared for any internal calls or meetings to come later in the day.
It’s now 9 am, and it’s time for our weekly team meeting. We make our way to one of the conference rooms and dial into the meeting via conference call so we can touch base with team members based in other cities. During the meeting, we discuss key market trends, including feedback from hotel partners about what’s happening now, as well as any wins or roadblocks we have encountered within the last week.
When we are back at our desks, my colleagues and I will often put on some music while we work to get the good vibes going and will have a little sing-along if we aren’t feeling too shy! Between songs, of course, we will be on the phone connecting with our partners. We will discuss the market, customer booking trends, and how things are going in general. I found that after my internship project where I did a deep dive into the needs of our partners and what influences their engagement with our platform, that I can truly understand how I can best support their needs within my role. I also regularly seek feedback and advice from my more experienced co-workers. No question is a silly question!
After a productive morning, it’s somehow noon already, and we know what that means - it’s time for lunch! I try to bring leftovers from dinner the night before, but oftentimes the temptation of the many food options available in the city win the battle. I head to one of the nearby stores and grab a nice, poke bowl and go back to the office to sit and have a chat with the team. I try to eat healthy where I can as we often have morning teas and celebratory events in the office with cakes, brownies and more, to celebrate the birthdays of our team members within the office!
I go back to my desk and send some follow-up emails to the hotel partners I spoke to earlier in the day. I summarize what we spoke about and send through some market insights and critical details that I have pulled from internal reports which will ultimately help aid decision-making processes and achieve the goals the hotel partners are working towards. I will also schedule calls for other days and put them in my calendar to check in and see how the implemented strategies are tracking.
The wider Market Management team based in the office congregates in one of our main conference rooms as we dial into our monthly Asia Pacific region conference call. We share updates of what’s happening in our markets and countries, share important announcements and achievements within the team and provide feedback amongst teams on what we can do to improve the marketplace for our partners and customers. They are at the core of everything we do!
Throughout the afternoon, I continue to reach out to hotel partners and answer any queries that may drop into my email inbox. When providing recommendations to our hotel partners as a result of needs-based conversations, I will regularly seek feedback and advice from my peers, whether within my direct team or otherwise. Everyone is always willing to help and shares the same ‘teamwork’ mentality. We will often discuss a topic when we jump up from our desks and have a quick afternoon coffee break and get a Kit-Kat from the kitchen that’s been calling our name all day!
I also message another ex-intern based in another office and team, who also came back after the internship program and our onboarding training - which I got to travel to Sydney for! We often keep in touch and bounce ideas off one another to gain a different perspective on things that are happening within the company. We are so lucky to have many amazing tools and programs that we use to keep in touch with one another throughout the week. We don’t let time zones get in the way!
The socializing continues! Each week we hold a Friday Afternoon Social where we can nibble on one of the delicious platters and have a drink and catch up with members of other teams within the office. I even had the chance to get to know some of my fellow interns based in Sydney when I completed my onboarding training due to all the social events and networking opportunities!
As it’s nearing the end of the working day, I head back to my desk to quickly recap the tasks I have completed for the day and write myself a to-do list for any items I need to follow up the next day. I look at my Outlook calendar and see what is in store for tomorrow, where I get to do it all over again and continue to bring the world within reach for our customers and hotel partners.