Career Check-in: Divya Bhardwaj

Divya Bhardwaj | Supervisor, International Payroll in Gurgaon

What does your typical work day look like?

The beauty of working in a truly global & diverse environment – different time zones – is that there is no “typical” working day. There is a planned itinerary and then there is an unplanned one which spices up the day with new encounters. This is absolutely stimulating to the brain cells. But amidst all this excitement something that’s never off the radar is keeping a pulse of customer satisfaction through Service Now Dashboard.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

It’s evolving each day – lightning fast! Working on multiple global & regional projects and initiatives sets a prodigious learning ground: “Fasten your seat-belts, we are in for a bumpy ride” – I JUST LOVE IT!

What makes your team unique?

The People! I love the One Team, Group First culture & the appetite for extraordinary customer service advanced from a diet of customer-centric values.

With my team in Tokyo

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Happy customers make my day and I strongly believe in “First Time Right Philosophy”. I am proud to have lived by both!

Who has influenced you the most?

The list is long & beautiful – all Women leaders starting from my working mother to business leaders like Indra Nooyi to political leaders like Hillary Clinton to my own Expedia Group leaders like Becky and Preet – keeps me going and motivated!!


Cultural day 2018 India

How and where do you find inspiration?

Crazy, but I am inspired by risk. An adventurous trip where the destination is yet not confirmed however the journey is bound to be exciting (full of potential failures & experiments)? That’s what gets my heart and imagination pumping

How did you learn to embrace failure?

Albert Einstein rightly said, “If you’ve never failed, you’ve never tried anything new.” I have witnessed failures, but I am still on my journey to gracefully embrace failures. I believe in assessing potential risks and mitigating them to minimize the chance of failure.

Year end team lunch

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Avoid being paralyzed by fear – Give wings to your thoughts and you will soar high. It’s a piece of advice I follow, too!

Tell us about your favorite vacation.

One of my most memorable vacation was with my family last year to Andaman and Nicobar Islands. From the multicultural town of Port Blair to picturesque pristine beaches, crystal clear water of Neil and Havelock Islands, Andaman offers a perfect choice for an exciting and peaceful vacation, and the more adventurous deep-sea diving – this place completely bowled me over for the second time.

What is your favorite weekend?

Lazing around in perfect peace in mesmerizing ambiance of my living room with my family (two naughty chirpy girls and a not so naughty husband) with some quick snacking & chit chat is the perfect weekend for me. Sounds cheesy maybe, but this comes as a gift of motherhood to me.

Career Check-in: Grégoire Laurent

From Account Management in Munich to Analytics in Singapore: My reflections on four years at Expedia.

Grégoire Laurent | Senior Business Analyst, Lodging Partner Services in Geneva

What a journey it has been since I joined Expedia at the start of 2015! Given the wide range of teams and offices around the world and culture of inclusion and exchange, it is no surprise that my career has also been varied.

Chapter 1: Munich | Skillset: German + Account Management

Interested in improving my German-skills, I applied for a role within an Account Management team looking after German speaking part of Switzerland. The interview process was longer than I was used to but each step was worth the time as I got to know my future colleagues and the role I was applying for. I liked the culture and energy of the people from the beginning.

Although I was the only non-German native speaker I was choosen on the potential and mindset I showed during the interview process. The team organized German-classes and took the extra time to help me with this new challenge. After a few months I was able to pass my C1 and work more proficiently in German.

Sunset ride with partner after a successful market visit in Zermatt

From day one in Munich, I was lucky to meet people I still consider mentors. These Expedians encouraged me to take time to think about my career plan and objectives so that I could truly follow my passion. By attending regular onsite and offsite training with the wider DACH and EMEA team I was able to develop skills which I knew would become extremely valuable for the future.

Chapter 2: Geneva | Skillset: Analytics

After 2 years in the Munich office I found myself spending more and more time travelling back to Switzerland for private and professional reasons. I had discussions with my manager about a move back.

The perks of working in Switzerland

Evolving within my role, I also began to realise that what I like the most and what I was the most interested in was the data (I have always been more of a numbers person) and therefore started learning on my own time some of the hard-skills needed to aspire for more analytical positions. After a few months I finally decided to discuss with my manager about my interest to get more exposure to analytical roles.

A key for me to be able to make this career change was the opportunity I was offered to spend a few hours every week on a cross-departmental project. This allowed the manager in the Analytics team to test my skills and interest, whilst I could discover if the work was really of interest to me. Two months later after a very successful 1st project I was offered a role in the Regional Analytical team.

This new role started with a very intense period of exponential learning, surrounded by very qualified and talented colleagues. It’s vital to be able to adapt quickly to new situations and learn new skills on the job. However, the reward for me was far greater than the challenge. Expedia Group invested in me and gave me time to develop myself. Surrounded by talented colleagues, I always had resources to learn from.

Enjoying the local food in Singapore

Regional Analytics, what do you do?

Our role in in the regional analytics team has two sides:

  • Support the Sales and Marketing Leadership teams within our SuperRegion (EMEA, APAC, LATAM or AMER)
  • Support Global projects and initiatives at the core of Expedia Group strategy

The Regional Analytics team is just team within the wider Expedia Group Analytics & Revenue Management department. Expedia Group has data in its DNA and therefore I have had many opportunities to learn from now datasets, applications and analytical technics.

Chapter 3: Singapore | Skillset: Culture + more Analytics

The view from the Singapore office

I have always been passionate about opportunities for career development, training and learning. When the Analytics department launched committees in early 2018 to make sure that Expedia is a great place to work I jumped at the chance to get stuck in.

The committee I worked on implemented a Mobility Program with colleagues from the US and Asia; after a few months and presentations were able to get a green light from the Analytics Leadership to launch a program worldwide that would allow analysts to get experience across the globe.

I was lucky to be one of the first employees to be part of the new program; spending a few months in Singapore to cover for two colleagues taking their paternity leave – 3 months each (Generous paternity leave is yet another great feature of Expedia Group! 😉).

Career Check-in: Fabio Carta

Fabio Carta | Market Manager, Lodging Partner Services in London

Has it ever happened to you when you’ve attended one of those university career fairs and you try to make sense of the endless opportunities, industries and jobs that are right in front of your eyes? Rather than helping, it confuses you even more! Well, it’s at one of those job fairs where I met the Expedia Group (at Bocconi&Jobs Careers Fair in Milan) and it was Expedia that helped me take the first step to get some clarity out of this confusion and build my career path.

I wanted to be part of it! After a round of interviews, I was offered an internship and, after 4 years and 3 different cities, I’m still an Expedian and now Market Manager in London.

I still remember that day as if it was yesterday. The local team in Milan introduced me to the Expedia family and I was soon captured by the company’s vison: “We are the world travel platform. Our purpose is to bring the world within reach.”

But what does a market manager do? As a Market Manager, my primary responsibility is to initiate, develop and maintain a high-quality portfolio of accommodation providers (hotels, B&Bs, guesthouses, vacation rentals, etc.) for Expedia’s global customer base.

How do I do it? I spend the majority of my time in calls and meetings with these potential partners explaining our value proposition, understanding their needs and aligning Expedia Group’s strategy with their strategy. To achieve high quality, I work closely with internal stakeholders such as the legal, marketing and operations teams: together we set up our partners for success.

Expedia Group is not a company for everybody.

It’s the place for winners: We dream big and we go through constant changes, so this creates a need to continuously readapt, re-prioritize our tasks and set new goals. In market management, we spend a good 10% of our time planning our strategy for the day, week, and month.

It’s the place for humble people: Nobody has all the answers so we are active listeners!  We ask for regular feedback and build development plans. In market management, we have weekly team meetings where we look into performance and best practices; we have weekly trainings where we learn new skills and enhance our knowledge; we have catch-ups and one-to-ones, where we ask for feedback and help each other solve problems.

It’s the place for team players: We work in teams and every decision we take affects not only our close colleagues, but also our customers, our partners and many other stakeholders. When we add a new property to the marketplace, this property (with all its amenities, its rates, its reviews) is available to more than 670 million monthly visitors and needs to be traded by more than 200+ travel booking sites. We can’t play solo!

If you tick all these boxes, you might become the next Expedian!

Career Check-In with Sarah Sandiford

Come join us as we adventure around the Hotels.com global offices and meet our team to discover more about their day-to-day roles, exciting projects, great teams and, of course, their passion for travel.

Sarah Sandiford | Associate Social Community Manager | Hotels.com | London

  • What area of Hotels.com do you work in?

I work in the global social media team, which sits within the brand org – my team neighbours are PR and Brand. In my day to day role, I manage our EMEA social channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. From creating content to partnering with influencers, my role is fast paced and very creative.

  • What do you enjoy most about working at Hotels.com?

Ooh that’s tough to just pick one! My top three would be:

  1. The amazing teams I work with: my colleagues may be based all over the globe, but we are actually a tight knit bunch! From working on a big collaborative projects to motivating one another with ‘out there’ ideas and of course, we always make sure to catch up on the latest Peaky Blinders episode.
  2. Wealth of knowledge: Working in the fast moving world of social media, it’s constantly evolving. Since joining Hotels.com, I’ve learnt more about this industry in the last six months, than the last two years of my career.
  3. And being honest? The travel inspo! My destination bucket list has been ever growing since I joined.
  • Tell us about a project you are most proud of and why?

As Social Media Manger of EMEA, I look after our global Instagram account. All the snaps we share on our grid are from our internal staff – that’s right, our amazing grid of travel inspo images are all shot by our employees around the world. We really do live to travel.

Showcasing their passion for the next adventure and uncovering hidden travel gems, being able to share that with our followers is incredible. Our finance team seem to live the best adventures and their photography is pretty impressive!

  • Tell us about a manager who has supported your development? And how?

Since the get-go, my manager has given me the confidence to in putting ideas forward – however small, big or silly. It means that I’ve been able to crack on with projects and in my short time here, really carve out new strategies and campaigns. This also applies to senior management, I feel completely at ease asking for help or sharing feedback on certain projects.

  • How do you balance work and life?

Knowing when to switch off. Social media is always ‘on’ and it’s hard to completely log off – but making time to unwind and disconnect is important. Spending time outdoors or getting lost in a good book on my commute are my social free moments. Well, I try.

  • What is your most memorable travel experience?

Spending two weeks exploring Cuba. Understanding their way of life and soaking up the culture, to those incredible white sandy beaches where the coldest drink on tap is a Havana rum mojito. Bliss.  

Career Check-In with Josie Shah

Come join us as we adventure around the Hotels.com global offices and meet our team to discover more about their day-to-day roles, exciting projects, great teams and, of course, their passion for travel.

Josie Shah | Director of User Generated Content | Hotels.com | London

  • What area of Hotels.com do you work in?

I work in the Content team, specifically user generated content. We work on a number of projects that integrate the experiences, feedback and photos from real customers that have stayed at our hotels, back into the booking journey to help new customers find the right hotel for their needs.

  • What do you enjoy most about working at Hotels.com?

I really enjoy working with such an international group of people I love the different conversations and perspectives this brings to the work place.

  • Tell us about a project you are most proud of and why?

I ran a market wide RFP to launch our affiliate program across Europe, in search of best in class technology and service, ensuring we had the right people and tools on the ground to be locally relevant in all markets and meet our growing business needs. We ran the project on time, exceeded our performance goals and saved $1m+ in costs in the process.

  • Tell us about a manager who has supported your development? And how?

My previous manager was very supportive of my interest in exploring new career opportunities whilst retaining a part time schedule. He highlighted all my transferable skills and where they could be applicable in parts of the business I might not have considered myself qualified for. He has also championed the benefits and value of part time employees amongst senior decision makers.

  • How do you balance work and life?

After returning from maternity leave (twice) I have worked part time, both 3 and 4 days per week at different times. Right now I work a 7 day fortnight which feels like the right balance for me. Hotels.com has been very encouraging and accommodating of my need to be as present as I can be for my young family, whilst also exploring new and fulfilling career opportunities.

  • What is your most memorable travel experience?

Many years ago whilst backpacking around South East Asia, I caught a boat to a tiny island off the north east coast of Malaysia called the Perhentian Islands. There were just a handful of small huts, fish were freshly caught and BBQ’d and there was about an hour of electricity a day from one central generator for the whole island. We saw komodo dragons, snorkelled with tuna and turtles… it was the most beautiful unspoilt place. I imagine it’s a bit different now!

Find out about how Josie found a part-time working schedule that worked for her family and career. #WeWhoTravel

Career Check-in with Laura Molnar

Laura Molnar | Senior Manager of Brand Marketing, Travelocity in Dallas, Texas

What does your typical workday look like?

My day is filled with diverse activities, from conducting customer research, planning marketing campaigns with cross-functional partners, and working on marketing strategies in support of new product launches.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

Balance! We work hard but also ensure that we live balanced lives. By encouraging balance, Travelocity employees are fulfilled and able to contribute even more to their jobs.

What makes your team unique?

I love my team! We have so much fun at work. Every day is filled with laughter. At Travelocity, we bring our full self to work. We celebrate our differences because we know that diversity of opinion makes us better. We genuinely care that each and every person is successful in their business and personal lives.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

At times we have to come up with unique and cost-effective ways to solve problems. Customer research can come with a hefty price tag when you are working with outside vendors. In an effort to spend time more efficiently, I took all of our research in-house. Due to the savings in time and spend, several other brands in the portfolio adopted our approach. It was exciting to see Travelocity spearhead the way!

Who has influenced you the most?

It’s almost impossible to answer this question because I’m continually learning from those around me. I’d have to say, from a work standpoint, it’s probably my team – we are close-knit and work seamlessly together. We’re all passionate about our brand and our roles, and it’s great to be around that kind of energy and enthusiasm every day!

How and where do you find inspiration?

To inspire creativity and new ideas in my job, I make sure I read as much as I can. From marketing publications, brand marketing books, and the Wall Street Journal, I try to learn as much as I can from other brands in the marketplace.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

I am always learning to embrace failure. A book that has been influential in accepting failure is Failing Forward. You can’t learn and grow if you fear failing.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Be here now. This phrase is two-fold. First, when you are at work and in meetings, it is important not to multi-task. Keep focused on the current task at hand. Phones and computers can be distracting, as we do everything on them. Even though it is not as easy for me, I choose to take notes in a book rather than on my computer so that people know that I am there with them and clued into the discussion.

The second part of the phrase is more long-term. Work is not always perfect and at times, we wonder why we are where we are. The important thing to remember is that every step encompasses learning that will benefit you in the future. So, when a day gets monotonous, just remember that there is a reason and soak up as much learning as you can.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

I took my mom to Turkey for her 70th birthday. We rented a car and drove over 2k miles throughout the country. One of her bucket list items was to take a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. It was the most fantastic experience, as hundreds of hot air balloons rose in unison with the sun across the landscape.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

I am originally from Laguna Beach, CA. So, anytime I can go home to visit my family, I will. When I am home I hike, eat my weight in sushi, surf, run on the beach, and enjoy watching the sunset over the ocean.

Career Check-In with Bruce Horner

Bruce Horner | Director of Marketing, Travelocity in Dallas, Texas

What does your typical workday look like?

One of the reasons I love my job is there is no ‘typical’. I am fortunate that I am involved in a range of projects and initiatives with a variety of teams and people. It is really hard to predict what my day will look like and that is exciting.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

The people. Expedia Group is a large company and I am fortunate to engage and learn from interesting, smart, and creative people from around the world.

What makes your team unique?

The Travelocity Brand Team is unique in that we all wear a lot of hates and are involved in a variety of initiatives. No one is caught up in a ‘not my job mentality’. We work hard and we have a lot of fun doing it and fortunately, no one takes themselves too seriously.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I am very proud of our unique and effective branded integrations model. We have built a multi-channel program that is the envy of other brands and is a visible tool to showcase our brand and the Travelocity Roaming Gnome in a powerful and relevant way.

Who has influenced you the most?

My father taught me the value of hard work, honesty, and integrity early on. I have continuously held a job since I was 10 years-old mowing neighborhood lawns. I credit my father for honing my focus and work ethic.

How and where do you find inspiration?

I am continuously inspired by other brands that do smart, unique, and impactful things. You have to be willing to take risks to stand out.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

Your life and career can change once you learn to embrace failure. There is no achievement without failure. The best hitters in baseball fail 3 out of 5 times. Once you adopt this perspective, you become free to take risks in your career and ultimately become a better contributor.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

Learn from your co-workers. Emulate those you admire and adopt the qualities they possess. Exercise humility and restraint in all you do.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

I have a passion for travel and have been fortunate to have visited and experienced over 40 countries. My favorite trip was a 10-day swing through Italy that included a lot of great pasta, amazing wines, and inspiring culture and art.

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

I enjoy frequent and short visits to Northern Michigan. It is beautiful, peaceful and largely off the grid.