Most travel agents would still be finding their feet six months into their first job in the industry, but 25-year-old Kavon Bagheri has already been promoted, picked for a fast-track management scheme and become an expert in selling round-the-world trips.
Inspired by his own 10-month round-the-world trip, Kavon (second left, with his team Lee, Suzy and Lisa) joined Flight Centre after searching for a job that combined his passion for travel with his sales skills, honed during stints at well-known brands Cadbury and Coca-Cola.
Kavon had already had experience of his new employer as a customer.
“It’s a prerequisite of the job to have done some travelling, and as I had booked my own trip through Flight Centre, I had experienced the company from a customer’s point of view. I emailed my consultant during my trip and he got back to me straight away. It’s so important to keep in touch with customers,” he says.
Flight Centre was named as one of the 50 best companies to work for in the UK in a survey in May, but even Kavon was pleasantly surprised to find the job allowed him to continue taking long-haul trips at discounted rates and climb the ladder quickly.
Kavon started as a consultant and now helps to manage the chain’s specialist team selling round-the-world trips based in the back of selected Flight Centre shops. The brand has 80 consultants split into 12 teams to take bookings over the phone. Some sales also come via customers in the retail shops.
He is one of seven staff on the company’s fast-track scheme. With regular access to senior management staff who act as mentors, the scheme is intended to prepare employees for senior management roles within three to five years.
Kavon says: “If you do well and work hard there is a chance to progress in the way that you could only do after years in some jobs.”
How to get to the top
Motivation: you need to be motivated and be a motivator and help others by leading by example.
Vision: think ahead, not just about the next few days.
Communication: make sure you communicate clearly with staff, company bosses and customers.
Determination: enjoy the job and socialise with your colleagues. Flight Centre staff have monthly “buzz” nights, where awards are handed out to employees who have performed well, summer and Christmas balls and a global ball that recognises top achievers held at a different venue in the world each year.
- 2004-2008: business and marketing BA (Hons) degree at De Montfort University
- July 2006-July 2007: grocery sales executive, Cadbury Trebor Bassett
- June 2008 – January 2009: cold drinks representative, Coca Cola Enterprises
- September 2010 – March 2011: round-the-world expert, Flight Centre UK
- March 2011-to present: round-the-world assistant team leader, Flight Centre UK
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