A travel internship can come across an exciting opportunity with the dreams of traveling to exotic destinations. However, the ground reality is that a travel company is like any other company with objectives of making sales and achieving revenues.
Bharathi Kanodia, a student of B.A Mass Communication at Bhavan’s College, Hyderabad shares her experience of working with a travel startup.
Where do you intern currently and how did you land the internship?
I intern at a niche experiential travel company, Offbeat Tracks which is based out of Hyderabad. I learned about the internship from our alumni group as the founder, Vandana Vijay, is an alumna from my college. I was seeking a summer internship and this message came up at the right time. I went through an interview round following which I was briefed about my role prior to onboarding as an intern.
What kind of work do you do at the internship?
I have been working with the company for about 6 months now and I can say that this was nothing close to what I expected! I had figured that a travel internship meant actually travelling to exotic destinations but working in a travel startup is by no means a holiday!
We have a small team working at our office and I get to do a lot of work across various functions. I am involved in generating sales leads, converting the leads, preparing the trip itineraries, co-coordinating with vendors for accommodation and travel as well as content creation.
I have realized that at a startup everyone dons many hats and you have to get involved in several activities at the same time.
Do you like working in a startup?
I don’t have any other intern experience to compare to but I love the work culture here. It’s a friendly workspace with a small team, this allows for a lot of learning. I work directly with the founder so I understand first-hand what goes on in building a company from the scratch. It’s certainly a lot of hard work!
We have these impromptu celebrations and weekend plans that help us bond. I like the young team and I feel like I fit in well.
What are the major takeaways from this internship experience?
Professionally, I have immense knowledge about the travel industry now. It’s been like a crash course in tourism management! I feel confident about planning a trip for anybody, anytime now! Personally, this has helped me in different ways like I have become more organised and am able to multi-task. I also used to be an introvert but the cold calls have given me the confidence to speak to anyone!
It has been tough to manage both studying and interning…
I have also learnt to manage my time better. I had started off with a summer internship but ended up extending my internship till October. It has been tough to manage both studying and interning, I had to manage both studying and interning, I had to refuse a lot of hanging out and chilling sessions with my friends but it’s been worth it.
Are there any special moments you would like to share about the internship?
Yes, I distinctly remember the first lead I converted to a sale. This person wanted a trip to Sikkim, a luxury trip for his family and I was able to give him what he required. It was an amazing feeling when the sale was converted and he booked the trip! I couldn’t believe that I was able to generate revenue directly for the company. It was a very satisfying feeling. It’s the tiny victories that count!
What are your future career goals; does this internship impact any of them?
I am a Mass Communication student and had dreams of a career in advertising. But this internship has opened up my horizon and given me more options. I am definitely considering coming back to the company for a full-time role after my graduation. Travel is something that excites me now, so the internship has succeeded in that!