Why I love working for Expedia Group

Antoinette Moliterno | Market Associate in Sydney, Australia

Picture of Antoinette Moliterno and co-workerWhen I stepped through Expedia Group Sydney’s doors as a University Intern in November 2017, I only knew that I wanted to work in Tourism, but had little idea of where or how I could fit into this enormous and booming industry. It didn’t take long to realize that Expedia Group was the only place I wanted to be to launch my career, and I haven’t looked back since.

Fast-forward a year – I’ve transitioned from Intern to Market Associate, settled into a new team, and spent the last six months dedicated to the Acquisition of Accommodation Supply and new Partnerships for our global marketplace. In that time, I’ve assisted in nearly one thousand properties going live – from luxury to boutique themed hotels, eco-lodges, retreats, glamping, and a wide variety of vacation rentals!

Each day, while not without its challenges, is rewarding and personally fulfilling both in the nature of what Expedia Group achieves as the world’s travel platform, and the high energy that drives our internal operations. I go to work feeling incredibly lucky and proud to be an Expedia Group employee, and here are just some of my top reasons why…

1 ) The Expedia Group Culture – Expedia Cares

The culture at Expedia Group far surpasses any organisation I have previously been a part of.

Our leadership is committed to creating an environment that is positive, open, supportive, nurturing and also incredibly fun! From day one, I could sense a genuine family spirit and this has only continued to strengthen since. Our recently launched Guiding Principles not only perfectly captures the essence of who I felt we already were as a company but drives us onwards to always be the best versions of ourselves as individuals and a Group.

The company also demonstrates a true care for the well-being and work-life balance of its employees, both within and outside the workplace. We are given plenty of opportunities to pursue our interests and passions, whether that be in our own time (e.g. Travel!) or through our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, Sustainability Committee, or Social Committee.

It’s an amazing feeling to be able to go to work and be surrounded by so many like-minded people who thrive off each other and work together locally and globally towards one common purpose.

2 ) Change & Innovation

In my short time at the company, I’ve seen so much change – its one of the many thrills about being at the crossroads of the Travel and Technology industries. Our workplace is dynamic, stimulating and inspiring as we both ride the waves of change, and also invited to be the change.

I love knowing that there is always something new around the corner, something to learn, to innovate, to make the world of travel even greater – it never gets boring!

In our own corner of the business, I really believe in our ability to help our local lodging partners put their mark on the map and keep up with the growing online game. I’m proud to be apart of a team where innovative ideas are born at a grassroots level and allowed to develop and be shared on a much larger regional or even global level.

3 ) Learn, Grow, Succeed

With no prior industry experience, my first year at Expedia Group has been a huge learning and personal growth journey. The internship in particular was a leap outside my comfort zone, and I was challenged to develop skills from weaknesses, think critically, and ultimately path the way for a career ahead. From the outset, I’ve been empowered to take ownership of my roles and progression, given great freedom to own my projects with individual flair, and the opportunity to evaluate and redesign processes and tools for wider business purposes.

With this comes tremendous support from peers and managers who never hesitate to provide guidance, share in both successes and challenges, and assist in reaching our goals and ambitions.

While I’m only at the very beginning of what I hope is a long career in Travel, I really believe in a future at Expedia Group. There are seemingly endless opportunities out there in completely different business divisions, in locations all over the world. Right now, I love what I do, but I’m definitely excited to discover what possibilities lie ahead.

Antoinette Moliterno and team

Career Check-In with Dorine Rassaian

Dorine Rassaian | Global Product Manager III in Bellevue, WA

Dorine Rassaian in a meadowWhat does your typical workday look like?

Since most of my stakeholders are in other time zones, the first thing I do every morning is read through emails and Slack messages to see if I received anything urgent overnight. The rest of the day is (mostly) spent in meetings to drive our product features forward. For example, I’ll meet with our UX gurus to review wireframes and iterate on them until we have mock-ups we deem ‘ready for development’ or ‘ready for a usability test’. Then I’ll meet with my Engineering team to review the progress we’ve made and scope the resources and time needed to complete the next set of features. Following that, I’ll meet with Marketing to determine to who and how we will communicate these changes, and with my Technical Product Manager to finalize the experimental roll-out plan to market. In-between these meetings, there are usually recurring meetings with the rest of the organization’s Product Managers to drive transparency and cohesion across what we’re working on. Depending on where we are at with a particular feature’s lifecycle, I will also have meetings with Analytics and Finance to review performance and optimize accordingly.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

I’ve been so fortunate to have started my career at Expedia as a summer Intern on the Search Engine Marketing team back in 2011. Ever since that experience, I knew I wanted to pursue a career at Expedia… and I’m still here seven years later! What I’ve enjoyed most is our company’s culture – the energy is infectious; we work for leaders who provide transparency, are incredibly approachable, and value testing our ideas.

What makes your team unique?

As part of the Lodging Partner Product team, we really embody the Expedia Guiding Principal of “Put yourself in the shoes of our customers and partners”, as we work closely with Hoteliers to optimize their property’s listings on our Expedia Group websites. Getting to meet with partners from all over the world sure makes the discovery and research phase of the product lifecycle fun –  a property that may look the same on paper in one geography may have completely different needs than a similar property located across the world.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

After four years on the Search Engine Marketing team, I made a big move over to Product Management on the Data Science team, focusing on revenue management and marketplace optimizations. Not only was I in a new area of the business, but I was also a brand-new Product Manager trying to grasp the new day-to-day of things! After a mere four months in the role, I was asked to participate in our yearly Global Product Organization’s Thunderdome. Imagine a case competition amongst four participants, where you are each given a company to teardown (what are they doing well, what can they improve on, etc.), in a short amount of time. The Thunderdome itself is an event where you get on stage in front of 500+ people, with 10 minutes to convince them that your teardown is the best. That was one of the most challenging and rewarding things I’ve ever done – what a thrill it was to get on stage!

Who has influenced you the most?

Sheryl Sandberg has really inspired me, as she embodies many of the qualities I strive to emulate; being a thought-leader, instilling curiosity & passion, and being a true subject-matter-expert. As she said, “I feel really grateful to the people who encouraged me and helped me develop. Nobody can succeed on their own”, and no truer words have been said in the field of Product Management; without your stakeholders, nothing would get done.

How and where do you find inspiration?

For those of you who are just starting your career as a PM, I highly recommend referring to Roman Pichler’s blog for guidance on how to approach Product Management. I’ve also loved the Women in Product (WIP) community, which has a wealth of resources for PMs in all stages of their career.

How did you learn to embrace failure?

One of the first things I learned was to “fail fast”. We have a strong culture of Test & Learn – if you have a hypothesis, let’s test it and see where it takes us. The faster you iterate, the more you learn and the stronger you become, which also happens to be one of our Expedia Guiding Principles: “Be data driven and business judgment led”.

What is your favorite piece of career advice?

My favorite piece of career advice is to “Be patient enough to learn, but impatient enough to take risks”.

Tell us about your favorite vacation?

One of my most memorable trips was to New York – I had the opportunity to meet with our NYC team to solicit their feedback on my team’s product areas (and take in the NYC Expedia office views from the 76th floor of the Empire State Building!), caught a Yankees vs. Red Sox game, and got the best surprise of my life –  getting engaged at the Top of the Rockefeller Center 😊

What is your favorite weekend getaway?

A frequent weekend getaway is driving from Seattle up to Vancouver, British Columbia. They have amazing restaurants, spas and stunning views of the city juxtaposed with the mountains in the background.

Want to know why this Senior Software Engineer loves Expedia Group?

Urja Gandhi | Sr Software Development Engineer in Bellevue, WA

Being a Senior Software Engineer at Expedia Group, my typical workday is full of exciting stuff. It includes design discussions and white-boarding with other software engineers, architects, product managers, and engineering managers. Driving the end-to-end implementation of features in a full stack application, reviewing my peers’ code, mentoring co-workers & interns, and many times interviewing candidates for my organization is what my day is mostly filled with. Yes, if you’re an intern at Expedia Group, you get a mentor who will be dedicated to helping you throughout your project! Isn’t that awesome!? No fear of having to figure it out all by yourself!

This is one of the many things I love about my team here at Expedia Group – Whenever we encounter a problem, everyone wants to help out in finding the resolution. This culture of oneness is very refreshing to see and leads to everyone being a team player. That is one of the reasons why I have got not just one mouse at my desk, but three of them – one of which I refer to as a ‘visitor mouse’ (ha-ha) for my colleagues to use when they walk by my desk and we try out different solutions together on my machine.

What I really enjoy the most about working at Expedia Group is the endless opportunities I have received to wear different hats and get involved in various areas of technology. Here, I get to work across boundaries to lead new projects and get to build new skills. Being a lover of traveling, I can contribute to making the next generation of travel impactful in ways I never imagined before!

The best part is the tremendous support I receive from all over the Expedia Family for the volunteering initiatives I contribute to outside of work. When a co-worker found out about the University of Washington Husky Tech Industry Mentorship Program that I co-founded to mentor UW students, I was invited for a company-wide filming to celebrate and talk about my mentoring efforts. It was also great to be one amongst four Expedia Women Panelists at the ‘GenHERation discovery days’ event and empower over 50 young high school and college women to jumpstart their careers and be the next generation of amazing leaders!

I can proudly say that #LifeAtExpedia is awesome and #ExpediaCares truly!