Career profile - Penny Spencer

Penny SpencerPenny Spencer is Managing Director of Spencer Travel and Chairperson for the Travel Industry Careers Association.

About Spencer Travel

Spencer Travel is a travel management company that specialises in corporate travel for small to medium sized businesses. Spencer Travel works with high end corporate companies that require service excellence and reliability. As well as this Spencer Travel specialises in entertainment travel, we do all the travel for television commercials, holiday travel, travel with kidz, cruising and we sell tickets to space.

How long have you been working in the travel industry and how did you get there? 

I have been in the travel industry for over 25 years. I knew straight at school that I wanted to work in the travel industry. I went to agencies and offered to work for free to get my foot in the door. I started stamping brochures for an agency, they then employed me as a receptionist and I worked my way up from there. I did attend a travel Academy Course for 4 weeks.

What do you do at work?

I own and run Spencer Travel. As the Managing Director I work on planning, contingency and strategies on growing the business. I liaise with clients, look for new clients and liaise with the staff. As a Managing Director I see my role as having the helicopter view of the business. 

What does it take to be successful?

You must have passion for what you do, love your job and have the ambition to self educate and grow. To be a Managing Director of either your own business or for someone else's business you must know all aspects of the business. This can come from study or working your way through a company or a number of different companies.

What qualifications do you need to do the job?

The key qualifications are to have passion and ambition.  A business course would certainly be a bonus as you need to understand financial statements, business planning, strategy and how to manage people.

What is the best and worst thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is having loyal and happy clients that love dealing with us and refer us to other clients.  The worst thing about my job is dealing with difficult staff issues, such as redundancies and sacking people.

What are the key things you look for when hiring staff?

The first thing I look for is enthusiasm, you can train anything but you can't train attitude and enthusiasm.  I also admire people that have come to an interview and done their research on the company, this shows pro-activeness.

Do you get to travel much yourself?

I have the opportunity to travel alot, in the past I have travelled extensively and I am starting to travel more now that my children are a little older. At the moment I would travel 5 - 6 times per year.