Want to work in travel? Here's the inside scoop! - Meet Cherise

1 March 2016

Want to work in travel? Here's the inside scoop!

- Meet Cherise

Working for an adventure travel company is a job that sounds pretty attractive on paper. The travel perks alone surely would make going to work worthwhile.

We talk to Cherise Belle Isle from My Adventure Travel in Paddington, Queensland, for the inside scoop. My Adventure Travel is a retail brand within the Flight Centre Travel Group, specialising in the adventure travel market. Flight Centre Travel Group operates retail businesses in 11 countries, and employs over 15,000 staff globally. It has twice been judged Australia's best employer.

But let's let Cherise tell it like it is.

We'll start of course with travel. Where have you travelled to in the last 12 months?

I took nine months leave without pay last year, so I travelled a lot! I went around South America and then to Europe and a little bit of Asia on the way home. My favourite destination would be Peru. Peru... or Cuba or Bolivia or Mexico... they're all really good. I've been given the opportunity to travel, which is amazing. In this company, we are encouraged to do long trips. It ensures that we really know what we're talking about from first-hand experiences.
What were your 3 favourite places on that trip?

Rio was amazing – it was everything I thought it would be and more. It's exactly as you would imagine it would be. La Paz was an amazing city as well. It's like stepping back in time, but the city is trying to move forward at the same time. And Istanbul. You're just surrounded by culture. You're swamped by the hustle and bustle, the experience is saturating. But I loved everywhere that I visited. There wasn't a place on the trip that I didn't like.
What about relaxing? Do you ever take a relaxing holiday?

I'm not very good at relaxing. I like to do a little bit at the end of a trip. But I'll do two days and be bored. Mexico was pretty relaxing. And Bali is always good for relaxing – it's easy and close. I go to Bali a fair bit for a quick, cheap trip.
What's your most adventurous trip? That should be easier.

One of them was crossing from San Pedro in the Atacama Desert in Chile over into the salt flats of Bolivia. You go up to about 5000 metres in a couple of hours. It was like being on the moon. It's so remote. You sleep in places with no electricity, there's hostels made of salt, no-one speaks English. Incredible.

So, on to your career. How long have you worked at My Adventure Travel and what is your role?

I've been here about four years, including my time off. I'm Assistant Tteam Leader (ATL). I started as a Novice and then I became ATL about three months in to my Novice time.
Novice? Is that a job title?

Yeah. Everyone starts as Novice. You're a Novice for, I think it's 13 months while you're learning the role. Everyone starts as a Novice. I became Assistant Team Leader after three or four months. And then Team Leader when I was still a Novice, after nine months. I was Team Leader up until I left for my trip. My ATL became Team Leader, and now I'm back, I'm her ATL, so we've swapped roles. So that was cool.
What does being Team Leader or Assistant Team Leader mean as part of your daily role?

Well, we still sell travel. It's just us leading our team and creating an environment where everyone is always learning. It's about influencing the team to show leadership.

We actually had an ATL conference in Sydney on Wednesday. We discussed what we are going to focus on, what we're currently doing well and not so well and we learn from that. We have 14 stores, so everyone comes together from all over Australia. It's nice to share what's going on in teams that are going well, so we're learning from each other. It's really, really cool. I loved it.
What can you tell us about the culture of My Adventure Travel? What is it like as a place to work? It sounds like an open, easy going sort of place?

Yeah, it is. You don't have to be afraid to say how you feel, to say what you want out of your career and for your personal life. We're a small brand in the Flight Centre Travel Group world, everyone knows everyone, which is nice. It's not like there are big wigs sitting up in head office – we all go out together, we have similar interests around travel. It's refreshing to be around people who are passionate and who love their jobs.
It all sounds fantastic! Sounds like a great place to work.

It is! I love it. And a great bunch of people to work with, that's for sure.
What sort of opportunities does being a part of the Flight Centre Travel Group offer you?

I feel like if I wanted to do any role in any kind of sector, I could do it within this company. You could go into finance, you could go into contracting, or marketing. Every corporate job, or even non-corporate job, is offered by the Flight Centre Group. There are endless opportunities. That's why I love working here, you can do whatever you want within the company.

We're very open about what we want to succeed at, or achieve, what you want for your career. We openly talk about that within our teams, that's encouraged. It's really awesome.
Does working towards targets with incentives work for you?

It makes the challenge worth it. It makes people strive for things – particularly if they want to go on trips or achieve something new. It's nice to win. Everyone likes winning. It's cool and you do get very well rewarded for your hard work.

Is there anything you want to tell us about My Adventure Travel that we haven't covered?

We're cool (laugh). We're the cool travel agent. We go to the places we sell. I hate saying that we sell travel. I just think we're talking about trips and inspiring people to travel.

To be able to talk about travel all day is cool. And then I go home and Ggoogle things about travel. I'm obsessed.
And lastly, what is the next trip that you have planned?

Hopefully Global Gathering. We're aiming to be in Singapore in July with our team.
What is that? Global Gathering?

It's a global staff gathering with Flight Centre Travel Group brands from all around the world. If you do really well, then you qualify and you get to attend free of charge. They have a conference and motivational speakers, as well as a huge party so it's a pretty cool perk to aim for! In the past we've had Pitbull and Fat Boy Slim perform! It's a new global destination every year.

So hopefully that will be our next trip. It WILL be our next trip.

Check out our Careers and Employment page for more information about working with My Adventure Travel. We are hiring NOW!