Step Up Up Mentee Program

Tanu Aggarwal | Software Development Engineer, Global Customer Operations in Gurgaon

It was started when one day my manager called me and said he has nominated me for the Step Up Mentee program saying it will give me an opportunity to build up my network and grow in my career and requesting me to submit the Statement of Purpose (SOP).

The idea sounds great as I was already struggling in figuring out what next?

So, I thought why not lets write the SOP and that’s is when I have realised it is so satisfying to revisit the journey you had so far. How have you grown over all of these years and all the more important is who all have been mentoring you, supporting you in your journey already. This made me realize how important a mentoring program could be and has made me more confident in getting selected as one of the mentees.

From the very first day the Step Up Mentee program started helping me in identifying my areas of strengths and weaknesses. All of the selected mentees were asked to take the psychometric test called DISC which was followed by an orientation session where all selected mentees shared their purpose of joining the program.

During this session Tanya Bahuguna and Pallavi Tondon helped not just understand the DISC assessment but also made me figure out the areas which are my strength and those areas which sometimes are my weakness. This was the first time where I was able to talk my heart out by relating to the assessment analysis and sharing how apt the assessment by seeing how have we been conducted myself so far at both professional and personal front.

Orientation session was followed by a session where we all need to come up with the themes which we would like to discuss and talk about throughout the program.

We come with these  themes

  • Building business acumen for strategic foresight and transitioning from tech mindset to a business mindset
  • The art and science of enhancing performance through feedback
  • Enhancing personal brand equity to fuel career ambitions
  • Building meaningful relationships through impactful communication

The best part of this program is being a group mentorship circle it has made me learn from each other experiences. It has always been great listening to the challenges what other mentee is facing and realising that in some way or the other you have faced such challenges too. Thus the techniques which are shared are helpful to others too.

Our first theme-based session started with Eman Barhoumeh, the VP of the Insurance and Assurance Business in Expedia.

She is a great leader, she has various ways to make us not just to speak up and give words to all the challenges we are facing, but also help us understand why possibly we could be in that situation and then trying help and guide us by providing various techniques.

She came up with a framework or a model to associate with each and every problem we raised. That has not only made things so relatable but also made me feel that I am not the only one facing these problems. And, these are known issues and concerns and there are solutions for it already. I just need to understand and apply in my daily routine.

Eman has conducted various working session to made us understand the perspective of other side of the problem too. She made us play the role and understand the point of view of all the parties involved. We have also been asked to apply techniques discussed during the sessions in our daily routine whether office or home. This has brought a significant change in my thought process in facing situation day to day basis.

This program is a wonderful initiative and has not only given us chance to learn how to grow as a better professional but as an individual too. And at the same time it has  also given us the opportunity to interact with different ECP leadership team and discuss with them our growth plan and seek their guidance.A big thank you for conducting this program.

5 tips to owning your career

Jennifer Dixon | Content Analyst, Expedia Group in Bellevue, WA

When it comes to your career, you can’t stand by and expect results. You dictate what you want out of your career and you are responsible for your own success. No one else can do it for you.

I’ve been working at Expedia Group for four years now. During my time here, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several projects that have forced me to continually seek new ideas and different ways of thinking. I am continuously pushing myself to be better and I’m always looking for my next challenge.

How do I do it? One of the Expedia Group Guiding Principles I live by is to “Relentlessly Strive for Better” which gives me the energy and encouragement I need to challenge myself every day. I am always thinking of ways to better myself – and you should too.

Here are my tips for career development and how I relentlessly strive to do better.

1. Know your legacy

Your legacy should exemplify the kind of impact you want to make on others. For me, I have a true passion for helping others and I love presenting people with new possibilities and new ways of doing things. My legacy is to make a meaningful and positive impact on people by removing obstacles, providing creative solutions, and improving experiences.

So, what are you passionate about and what do you value most? Combine these with your strengths and you’ll be able to define your legacy. Your legacy should dictate the work you do and why you do it. Knowing your legacy will help you to stay centered and keep you honest.

2. Create obtainable goals

Once you know your legacy, it’s time to start setting measurable goals for yourself. Start by setting smaller, obtainable goals that motivate you and inspire you to do better. Consider what you want to achieve or what’s important to you.

Now write them down. Seeing your goals written out makes them more tangible and also helps to keep you accountable.

3. Find a mentor

At any given time, I always try to have at least one mentor or coach who challenges me to think differently.

Find someone who will push you to be better. Someone who will challenge you on your ideas and keep you honest. Of course, you can do this on your own – but having someone there to push you will only speed up your learning and your growth.

4. Be vulnerable

I ask a lot of questions and I have no problem admitting when I’m wrong. I have learned to embrace failure and I have learned from my mistakes.

This is probably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do but it has the potential of making you so much stronger. It will also make you more relatable and people will respect you more for it.

5. Keep learning

To be successful, you have to grow. Whether it’s through reading a thought-provoking book, listening to a PodCast or Ted Talk, or going to a conference. These experiences will revitalize you and motivate you to try new things and to do better. It can also help you to completely reset and ensure you are still on the path to achieve your goals.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.

I am sure there are plenty of other things you can do to push yourself to be better but these will (at the very least) get you started. I learned far too late in my career that I am the only one responsible for my success and my career development – so for you, I hope these tips will help you to take charge of your career now. At least that’s my goal. 🙂

Your career development is completely up to you. So, what are you waiting for?

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!