Alistair Rodger, director of sales - business travel agents, Hilton
Education: 10 O' levels, three A' levels, BA Joint Honours Degree in Geography and History with a Subsidiary Degree in Geology from Keele University.
Training: various courses and on-the-job training covering sales, account development, leadership, team building, time management, strategic planning and financial awareness.
First travel job: regional sales executive at Swallow Hotels. They gave me my first break into the travel industry and an excellent grounding in UK hotels.
Career path: two years as a regional sales executive at Swallow Hotels was followed by promotion to regional sales manager and then national account manager. Switched focus from corporate sales to agencies and set up a dedicated department looking after all business travel, hotel booking and conference agents in the UK. Two years later moved to the worldwide sales office of Marriott International as agency sales manager and then moved on to corporate sales as total account manager for Marriott. Joined Hilton in my current capacity as director of sales - business travel agents and have been here for just under a year.
Advice for people wishing to develop a career in travel: "Many people in the industry seem keen to move jobs or companies on a regular basis to be seen to be getting on. Don't be too eager to jump ship. Learn all you can from your current colleagues and company and do not be afraid to wait for the right opportunity to come along. The travel industry is great fun to work in and offers many opportunities to experience new places, cultures, lifestyles, etc. Take as many of these chances as you can and enjoy the benefits available."
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