By GREG JUNG
Education, experience and innovation are the key to growth
We sailed the twists and turns of life while in the middle of a rollercoaster of confusion, anxiety, anger and fear, all created by the ongoing state of the world. In an effort to cope with these times, you may have chosen new hobbies, discovered your love of many reality TV series, moved around the country, made the decision to go back to school or become one of the many professionals. who participated. of the Great Departure.
There is no doubt that this current period in our history is marked by a growing need and need for personal and professional growth. Many chapters of my life have been marked by a similar desire; it has inspired me to adopt a mindset that focuses on differentiating myself from others in a positive way through the constant search for knowledge. I learned many lessons-recognizing that growth rarely happens, expanding my capabilities through further education and finding my way into the travel insurance industry.
I pursued my first MBA two years after completing my undergraduate degree, and this decision came from an area of limited work experience. My enthusiasm for this choice is rooted in an academic foundation, where I expect the guiding principles to be very helpful in applying my skills in the real world. By gaining work experience and pursuing my second MBA later in my life, I learned how education is truly complementary to application while work experiences taught me how, when and where my academic background can make all the difference.
Gaining actual work experience, especially within the travel industry, changed my perspective and inspired me to use a more holistic approach to everything I do, and this kind of method is needed more than ever. When I started my career, getting a marketing role meant you only had one marketing role. Today, a marketing role can act as an umbrella title, housing responsibilities of corporate culture, operations, technology, marketing and even even sales.
Leading in a holistic approach
Imagine that a company is at the top of its game in terms of its visual marketing content; however, it is poorly executed in business when it comes to basic operations, such as customer experience. When negative feedback comes in, it not only affects the struggling department but hinders the growth of the entire company. That is why a holistic approach is so important in today’s world. It all goes back to how today’s leaders make their decisions and make change, aka using a growing mindset, relying on learned design skills and critical thinking as well as problem solving. .
From my own experience, a very good example of a holistic approach can be seen when looking at how I deal with the issue of marketing investments and travel seasonality. For this industry, it is generally believed that Q2 and Q3 are the best quarters in terms of sales; therefore, it affects when and how we invest our money.
However, people travel all the time, all the more so because their earlier plans were derailed due to the pandemic. In this case, by adopting a holistic approach and looking at the bigger picture, I ask the question “Does the industry force seasonality through how we calibrate our marketing costs?” as well as “What happens when seasonality is no longer the primary factor in determining spending?”
By expanding the way I evaluate this concept, it has enabled me to break this ancient belief and instead rely on a more calculated approach based on experience and observations.
The future of growth is within travel
As I look forward to the future of travel and the travel insurance industry, there are many changes in the works. Like many other types of insurance, travel is primarily moving toward a consumer -directed model through reliance on technology. Millennials and the younger generation are pushing for this because they want an experience where results are immediate, meaning they can set up their insurance within a few clicks and be able to digitally interact. in a similar way.
In particular, through my role as Chief Growth Officer for Seven Corners, I am hopeful of greater growth in travel insurance knowledge among the general public. Before the pandemic, very few people were aware of the need for travel medical insurance; however, this is always important especially when traveling abroad where your usual health insurance is unlikely to cover injury or illness. The pandemic really underscores the importance of this kind of insurance to consumers who might not have paid attention to it. For Seven Corners as well as other travel insurance companies, the future of travel is really focused on educating the public on how they can get it back and make it safe.
As for the next generation of talent, young professionals will enter an industry that is more vibrant and more advanced-one that is constantly adapting and changing as each new generation of travelers helps. to shape trends and the top destinations vary every few years. For individuals, mental development can be key to their success. These are three tips that young professionals should follow as they pursue a career in the travel industry.
- Look for consulting career opportunities: The beauty of consulting or rotational programs is that you are exposed to many industries or many parts of a company. You will be better equipped to make important strategic decisions because this exposure gives you the ability to imagine how future changes could affect each sector of the company.
- Develop a strong understanding of analytics and digital marketing: A big part of the work we do in this industry has to do with data usage and analysis. In addition, digital marketing is a new area that is constantly evolving. By developing familiarity with these topics, you will be better equipped than most of your peers.
- Don’t forget the accounting and finance classes: This is an aspect of my education that I missed while working on my undergraduate degree. The background in finance and accounting is highly valued. By having the ability to understand how the financial sector of your organization operates, you are better positioned to create effective growth strategies.
As the next generation of professionals look to join this industry, we know that future success will depend on our ability to educate and connect with the public. It always starts with educating ourselves, looking within the industry to identify and address the weaknesses that prevent further adoption. Whether it’s dealing with old beliefs, navigating a pandemic / global crisis or interpreting and caring for generational differences, travel professionals need to rely on a growing mindset. because it is a pillar of strategic development and effective communication.
Greg Jung is the Chief Growth Officer of Seven Corners Travel Insurancebased in Carmel.