The program is open to students around the world and publicized at over 200 colleges.
ATLANTA – As their college and university peers urgently research career options and complete job applications, three recent graduates now are preparing to embark on an immersive training program that will take them to eight countries across the globe to learn about the travel industry. Recipients of the 2016 Management Associate Program, offered in collaboration between the Association of Corporate Travel Executives and BCD Travel, will receive academic training, experiential learning, networking opportunities and a jump start on a career in corporate travel.
2016 MAP associates include Megan Gougeon of Ottawa, Canada; Barbara Allgaeuer of Munich, Germany; and Theresa Dang of Toronto, Canada. The three will spend the next eight weeks studying in the United States, Brazil, United Arab Emirates, China, India, France, The Netherlands and Belgium.
"The opportunity to participate in the Management Associate Program is a dream come true," said Dang. "I'm grateful for the opportunity that BCD Travel has given me to broaden my knowledge, expand my skills, and gain experience in the industry. I am so excited about joining the program and building a foundation for a long career in the travel industry."
The program is open to students around the world and publicized at over 200 colleges. The three associates were selected from a pool of 65 applicants—giving many students a better chance of being chosen for MAP than many faced getting into college. During their travels, associates will learn about the $7.2 trillion travel industry that powers virtually every major business and regional economy in the world and offers career opportunities to 284 million employees, according the World Travel and Tourism Council. Previous MAP associates now work full time in the corporate travel industry.
"Many university students today graduate without identifying any specific industry that offers opportunities above competitive pay and benefits—such as direct exposure to globalization, ongoing professional development and the chance to earn promotions," said Christian Dahl, BCD Travel senior vice president, Strategic Talent Management & Global HR. "The business travel industry may not seem an obvious choice to young people unfamiliar with it. But the industry continues to offer tremendous opportunities for challenging, rewarding and deeply satisfying careers – even to those who don't enroll in MAP."
MAP consists of two parts. An immersion experience, run in collaboration with the Association of Corporate Travel Executives, offers hands-on training programs in business centers around the world. Each week-long city itinerary includes economic, travel industry and cultural briefings, updates from key sectors of the corporate travel industry and instruction on global corporate travel management – plus site visits and partner tours to key suppliers of business travel products and services.
During the second part of the program, management associates take part in a six-month traineeship. BCD Travel assigns each participant to a department within the organization that's best suited to their skills and interests. During the six months, associates gain on-the-job experience and receive ongoing mentoring, coaching and feedback.
"MAP provided a crash course in corporate travel management," says 2013 management associate, Kendra Cassels, manager, Strategic Communications at BCD Travel. "The program laid the groundwork for my current career and showed me the basics of business travel tools, processes and challenges. Program coordinators recognized that I was a newcomer to the industry and made me feel comfortable asking questions, no matter how rudimentary they were. And colleagues encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone to develop my skills."
"While enrolled in MAP, I gained essential knowledge of the corporate world – from how to exchange business cards, to taking advantage of networking opportunities to preparing for meetings," said Hunter Petrus, a former MAP associate currently working as a data and reports analyst. "My confidence soared and I became a better team player."
"The MAP exposed me to different cultures and the nuances in how they operate," says Bryan Leong who participated in the inaugural 2012 MAP and now works as a regional account manager in Singapore. "I saw first-hand that it's vital to adapt your behavior to the people you work with – customers or colleagues. I use that experience to form connections with clients from all over the Asia Pacific region."
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.
She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.