Anna Shadbolt, travel consultant, Abercrombie and Kent's retail agency, Outlook
Education: nine O' levels.
Training: three-year dance course at the Andrew Hardy School of Dancing followed by a secretarial course at Queen's College, South Kensington,London.
First job in travel: administration assistant for the retail department at Abercrombie and Kent.
Career path: although Anna now works in travel, she started off her career as a dancer, studying dance for three years. After graduating from dance school, she spent four years working abroad as a dancer and so had the great experience of living in a variety of different countries, ranging from Portugal and Japan. She also spent eight months touring Colombia and Ecuador with a Mexican circus. Working as a dancer overseas gave Anna her first taste of travel When she returned to the UK, she took a job as a box-office assistant at her local theatre before joining Abercrombie and Kent in December 1994 as an administration assistant in the retail department. After two years in this position, she took a sales role within the same department.
Advice for people wishing to develop a career in travel: "Don't think it will be one long holiday. I think it's important to be customer focused, to be organised and to have good attention to detail. It is also important to have a real love for travel. It helps to be interested in the places your clients are going to visit. Do your homework and make sure you can answer all client enquiries."
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