Francesca Bossi, Travel Project Coordinator, TomTom
In order to help current students and recent graduates to find their way in the working world, many of our alumni shared their career story. Here the story of Francesca Bossi, Travel Project Coordinator for TomTom in Amsterdam (NL). USI Degree: Master in International Tourism, 2019.
How did you start your career?
Once finished the last exams of the master's in July 2018, I decided to undertake an internship abroad in order to include hands-on experience in the tourism field to my CV. I had the chance to join TravelBird, an online travel agency based in Amsterdam as a sales support intern. I enjoyed the Dutch working environment and I decided to write my thesis abroad while working part-time in sales at EF. As I finalized my thesis, I started looking and applying on LinkedIn for full-time positions that were matching my interests and preparation. Following graduation and rounds of interviews I received a couple of job offers, and I opted with enthusiasm for TomTom's one.
Why did you choose a career at TomTom?
I chose to join TomTom as I have always been interested in pursuing a career in business travel, which presents different dynamics and approaches than leisure travel. Being TomTom a tech company, the corporate travel department is a small team. This provides me the opportunity of taking care of several aspects concerning travel, improving my knowledge and competencies, eased by the good and collaborative working culture within the company.
What is your current role/duties?
The ultimate goal of my team is to make the business trips of our colleagues spread all over the world a pleasure. I am mainly responsible for the travel operations in EMEA and USA, liaising with our business travel agency ensuring that everything proceeds smoothly. Offering training and support to my colleagues on the online booking tools. I also collaborate to projects such as booking tools implementations in different regions and the creation of a sustainable corporate travel program, negotiate contracts, and keep the relations with part of our vendors.
In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary for a successful career in TomTom?
I personally find motivation, problem-solving attitude, and critical thinking as essential. Overall, being passionate about what you do, and not being intimidated by changes, as alterations of the status quo often bring improvements or occasions of growth.
What positive aspects and qualities meant most to you during the study programme you attended?
I appreciated being surrounded by classmates coming from all over the world. The small size of the class and its informal atmosphere allowed an interactive way of learning, enabling the students to speak up and have constructive conversations with the professors on the topics. Moreover, the opportunity of participating in international conferences or external projects/tours, do not only allows students to gain practical examples of travel and tourism beyond the academic environment, but also to the professionals of the sector to get to know the master program, as it happened with my company.
What competences and/or skills acquired in your USI Study Program have been useful/are useful to your professional career?
I currently deal with tasks related to different spheres, from communication to management, from negotiation to sustainability, and I think that the variety of the courses provided me good insights on all these subjects. The master allowed me to improve soft skills as well, such as team-work in an international environment, where I understood and learned how to deal with different work methodologies and approaches. Getting used to meet several deadlines on projects/tasks and working under pressure are other skills boosted during the two years of the master that I still find really useful.
What is your advice to USI students entering the job market?
My advice is to keep on being motivated despite the ongoing crisis of the Tourism sector, as I believe in the future months we will see deep changes in the field, where knowledge combined with fresh thinking will be necessary. Be bold, and do not fear to get out of your comfort zone.