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Employee profile

Jamie Smart

Trading Executive (Commercial Placement Programme)

How did you get your placement, and why did you choose TUI?

I chose to apply for TUI as I believed that it seemed like a really fun and exciting company to work for, who also give you lots of genuine responsibility in your day-to-day role. I also had a lot of experience of TUI from a customer’s perspective, as TUI was always the number one choice for my family's holidays each year; so I felt I was very familiar with the company's values. Aside from this, the main thing that helped me decide to apply for a role at TUI was the level of responsibility you’re given. You’re given a genuine and important role, which is exactly the same as that of your 'full-time' colleagues. To be given this level of responsibility on your placement year is a great opportunity, and although it may be challenging at times, it’s highly rewarding. Additionally, the chance to be able to work for one of the world’s largest tour operators and the chance to learn the workings of the highly-competitive tourism industry was an opportunity too good to miss!

The application process consisted of first applying via the TUI Jobs website and completing the application form and questions - be sure to complete these thoroughly. If successful, the next rounds are a digital interview and an assessment day. My advice for the application process would be to do your research on all things TUI, and make sure your enthusiasm for the industry shines through!

What did you typically get involved with, and what were your key responsibilities?

As a Trading Executive, your main responsibility is the trading performance of the destinations you’re in charge of. This would include ensuring you're selling the correct hotels/flights at the right price and speed, in order to make the optimum amount of profit for the business. You’re also required to take full ownership for your destinations, and therefore meticulously chase for solutions to any problems that might be holding back the performance of your destinations. You’re placed in full control of your destinations, while also being thoroughly supported at all times by your team and colleagues.

Additionally, throughout the placement year, you’re given multiple projects to complete as a placement team. These are great as they allow you to work with and have a positive impact on various different departments around the business. These projects also give you excellent exposure around the business.

What training did you receive?

The first four weeks in the role see you go through a very thorough and comprehensive training schedule, which sets you up extremely well for your year as a Trading Executive. Alongside this, you’re part of a very close-knit and caring team who will always be on hand to answer any questions you may have on the role and to give you insightful tips. The department also runs various 'process huddles', with the aim of refreshing some of the less routine tasks. As part of the placement programme, you also get the opportunity to attend various workshops to help you build your professional skills, such as presenting. You’re also given the excellent opportunity to spend up to four half days in other departments, which give you an excellent insight into all of the various aspects that make TUI a successful tour operator.

The programme itself is well-organised, with regular group meetings put in with the Learning & Development team for a catch-up and an update. Each of the Learning & Development team is also readily available for individual catch-ups along the way. On my placement year, we completed three placement projects as a team – one charity project, and two business-focused projects. These projects give you excellent exposure to the wider business.

What did you enjoy about your placement?

The role itself is very interesting, with no two days being the same. The trading conditions are constantly changing and therefore throwing new challenges your way each day. The constant challenge and high-level responsibility make the role very rewarding. The great thing about working in Trading is that you get to see the effects of your trading actions in the live sales figures, meaning that you can see the direct benefits that you’re providing to the company from your hard work.

There are also lots of great travel benefits and opportunities that come with a role at TUI!

What are the highlights of your placement?

One of my highlights from my placement year was the completion of the final business project. In this project, we were tasked with coming up with a range of ideas to better help TUI improve its offering to solo travellers. At the end of the eight weeks that we were given, we had to present our research and ideas to multiple directors and senior-level managers - something which at first seemed rather daunting. Over the eight weeks, we produced some great work and were able to present lots of comprehensive and innovative ideas, some of which we predict will make thousands of pounds for the company. As a team, we produced some excellent ideas, and the fact that some of them have already started to be implemented within the business is highly rewarding, and is definitely something to be proud of.

When you’ve faced difficult situations, what support was provided?

Thanks to my highly supportive team, I was able to easily seek help and guidance in any difficult situations that arose. My team and line manager were always on hand to help with any problems/concerns I had, with regular line manager catch-ups making this extremely easy. Alongside this, the placement programme’s Learning & Development team were always on hand to catch-up at any time with guidance on anything that was needed.

Why did you like working for TUI?

TUI is an extremely fun company to work for, and there are loads of exciting opportunities to get involved with.

The people are extremely welcoming, and make each day in the office a lot of fun. There’s also a great social scene at TUI, with regular events both during and outside of work. The people at TUI make it a very supportive and enjoyable place to come to work every day.

A few months into my placement year, it was time for the Commercial Conference, where we were taken to Salou, Spain, for four nights. This was an extremely fun and interesting few days, where we attended the conference held by the Senior Leadership Team, and got to see the TUI product first hand, followed by some partying in the evenings. The conference was a great opportunity to get to know all of my colleagues and celebrate all of TUI's success!

Other exciting opportunities include a private tour around TUI's aircraft maintenance hangar. This was certainly an eye-opening opportunity, where we were able to see the aircraft stripped right back ready for inspection, and we even got to sit in the pilot's seat. It was a great experience; one I certainly won't forget.

TUI was an amazing company to work for on my placement year. I thoroughly enjoyed my time there, and feel that I developed a lot not only in my role but as a person in general. I’m therefore very pleased that I have been offered the opportunity to return to my role after graduating from University!