Dublin-based Karen Wright left her job in the hospitality industry to pursue her dream of running her own business while spending more time with her young family. She joined the Travel Counsellors’ Travel Academy programme in 2018 and launched her business as a Travel Counsellor.
“I first heard about Travel Counsellors through a colleague in the apart-hotel industry that I was working in. I instantly loved the idea of becoming one, but I was hesitant because I had no experience working in a traditional travel agency. After I made the initial call to Head Office, I met Nessa and Bernie in person for a chat to find out how it all worked, and they showed me the booking systems and potential earnings and it just ticked all the boxes for me. I had always considered running my own business, but I also wanted a better balance for myself and my husband and children.
“Travel has always been a huge passion for me. I completed a Degree in Hospitality & Tourism in Cathal Brugha Street and for years I worked in sales in the hotel industry and then moved into business development in the apart-hotel industry. I was attracted to the Travel Academy programme because it started from the very start, so, as someone with no experience in selling travel, I was able to learn from the very beginning and it gave me all the tools I needed to get my business set up. It has been a fantastic learning curve. Once I signed up, I was provided with some online training modules to complete before induction even started, then once I left induction there was more training with lots of home study to complete.
“I started networking straight away and getting my name out there. Coming from a sales background, I was a member of a few business network groups already, which helped greatly. I have two children, so I started spreading the word through all their activity groups too. The support I have received from everyone in Head Office, both in Cork and the UK, has been amazing. I am only in my first year of business, but I have already met some great clients and had some fantastic sales. I am very positive about finishing with a successful first year in business.”