Meet our #TravelHeroes – Interview with Alicja Typańska, Business Travel Advisor at WorkTrips.com
Welcome to a series of exceptional interviews that will allow you to discover the human face of the extraordinary world of the startup WorkTrips.com! You have a unique opportunity to peek behind the scenes of our company and gain a better understanding of the passion, dedication, and inspiration that drive our team.
Today, we introduce Alicja, an irreplaceable member of our team, who as a Business Travel Advisor, ensures that our clients’ experiences during business trips are of the highest quality.
Alicja is a true genius in organizing business travel, passionately exploring new places and cultures. In this interview, you will learn how she handles the challenges she encounters in her work and hear stories from her favorite journeys. Alicja also shares her inspiring approach to both her professional and personal life.
In this interview series, we have prepared captivating conversations with exceptional individuals who make WorkTrips.com a unique place for business travelers. You will discover what contributes to the success of our startup and get to know the extraordinary stories of the people who make up our company. Are you ready? Let’s go!
MATEUSZ: Where did you gain experience before joining the WorkTrips.com team?
ALA: I used to work at a hotel reception.
MATEUSZ: So, you had your first experience in the travel industry before joining the team?
ALA: Yes, that’s right. That initial experience in the travel industry was crucial for my professional development and defining my career path. It currently helps me in the area I work in on a daily basis. I know exactly what to pay attention to when dealing with hotels to ensure the best possible process.
MATEUSZ: How did you manage to switch from hotel reception to WorkTrips.com?
ALA: I stumbled upon a job advertisement on a student Facebook group, which was a surprising discovery for me. I scheduled an interview, and when I learned that the job combined responsibilities typical for a receptionist but in an online setting. I was curious about how these tasks could be adapted to the internet and how the whole process would function. I dared to take up the challenge and successfully went through the recruitment process, opening up an entirely new professional path with WorkTrips.com.
At the beginning of my journey with the company, I not only could continue my studies in Tourism and Recreation at Adam Mickiewicz Universityin Poznań but also found a perfect match between my interests and the company’s profile. Transforming traditional reception duties into online actions allowed me to grow professionally and apply my knowledge of tourism and recreation in a modern and innovative way.
MATEUSZ: How long has this journey been so far?
ALA: It’s been 4 years 🙂
MATEUSZ: How does your typical workday look now?
ALA: I start the day with coffee, which is an integral part of my morning routine.
MATEUSZ: Black or with milk?
ALA: Black and bitter!
MATEUSZ: Coffee, and then what? 🙂
ALA: In the Customer Support department, we provide assistance to clients around the clock, seven days a week, throughout the year, so we work in three shifts. The beginning of each shift involves continuing tasks left by the previous team. We encounter complex cases that require time and careful handling to resolve, and sometimes we take over matters from other colleagues. Effective teamwork is crucial in our department. During my work, I dedicate most of my time to assisting customers who communicate with us via chat, emails, and phones. We offer comprehensive support at all stages of our clients’ journeys – from organizing transportation and hotel reservations to ensuring travel insurance.
MATEUSZ: What part of your work is the most enjoyable?
ALA: Every part that involves our system and assisting clients who use our tool.
MATEUSZ: And what about customers who don’t use the tool?
ALA: In such cases, there is more work involved, but it also gives us more room to operate. We have the opportunity to design the entire trip for the customer, allowing us to create personalized solutions.
MATEUSZ: Any unpleasant moments at work, tasks you try to avoid? 🙂
ALA: To be completely honest, there are none 🙂 There are reservations that require adjusting many variables, such as train and flight connections, especially when multiple travelers are involved in a single booking. This requires us to be engaged in solving more complicated problems and coordinating multiple aspects of the journey, which simply means more work.
MATEUSZ: What is the biggest challenge in your work?
ALA: Our department sometimes faces exceptional challenges, periods in the year characterized by a significant increase in activity or the organization of large events. Recently, one of our clients had a major event planned in Berlin, which unfortunately coincided with an ongoing airport workers’ strike. This situation forced us to cancel over 200 flight tickets and find suitable alternatives for the clients. That day turned out to be incredibly intense and required coordinated and rapid action from our entire department.
MATEUSZ: From your perspective, which period of the year is the most intense?
ALA: The end of the year is always a busy period with a lot going on.
MATEUSZ: What do you value most about working in the travel industry?
ALA: One of the most attractive aspects of my job is the opportunity to connect with new people, which I consider a huge advantage. In my personal life, I enjoy the ability to plan trips effectively and effortlessly, significantly enhancing my experience in this area of my life. I try to travel as often as possible to make the most out of life.
MATEUSZ: Your longest journey?
ALA: By car to Croatia.
MATEUSZ: Wow! That surely required professional planning. How long did the journey take?
ALA: It took us nearly 20 hours, so it was quite demanding!
MATEUSZ: Switching topics a bit, what is your best memory from WorkTrips.com?
ALA: I won a film contest in our company, and the prize was spot-on – a voucher for a massage! I had no idea what to expect, but the massage turned out to be amazing and incredibly relaxing. Besides that, every team integration or after-work gathering is something I always remember fondly. Our team consists of really great people, and even during leisure time, our meetings are filled with smiles and jokes that stay in my memory for a long time. All of this makes the work experience in our team exceptional and valuable!
MATEUSZ: What do you do in your free time?
ALA: I’m a sports enthusiast!
MATEUSZ: Really? Whom do you support?
ALA: In fact, I’m interested in all kinds of sports, from football and volleyball to tennis. However, I’m particularly interested in following competitions in less recognized disciplines like teqball, a combination of football and table tennis.
MATEUSZ: And which sport do you practice?
ALA: I often go cycling and workout at the gym.
MATEUSZ: How do you maintain a work-life balance?
ALA: At work, I try to take a 15-minute break every 2 hours to rest from the computer. I get a glass of water and sit on the balcony, or I go out to the garden. I feel a significant difference after that quick refreshment 🙂
MATEUSZ: Do you get stressed at work?
ALA: In the early stages of my career, there were moments when difficult situations with travelers triggered a surge of emotions. However, thanks to the experience I’ve gained, I now notice that most situations no longer affect me in the same way. I have become more skillful and confident, which allows me to calmly handle challenges.
Of course, there are still moments when adrenaline kicks in, such as when a client is at the airport and suddenly finds out that their flight has been canceled. However, I can now remain calm and effectively resolve such situations. Thanks to the experience I’ve gained, I feel more self-assured and flexible in the face of difficulties.
MATEUSZ: To wrap up, in the current season, what destinations are you planning for your vacations? Tell us about your latest trip.
ALA: Without a doubt, I’m passionate about mountains, but at the same time, I derive great joy from city breaks. I believe that frequent short trips are much more valuable than a long journey once a year. My latest city break was a visit to Krakow, where the European Games were taking place. It gave me the opportunity to witness several fascinating sports events. It was not only an amazing experience but also a great opportunity to actively participate in the atmosphere of a sports celebration!
Alicja Typańska – Business Travel Advisor at WorkTrips.com
Mateusz Łaskawiec – HR Generalist at WorkTrips.com