Stuart Cowell, agency sales key account manager, Bourne Leisure Agency

Stuart Cowell, agency sales key account manager, Bourne Leisure AgencyWhat was your first job in travel?

YTS trainee at Lunn Poly.

How did you climb the career ladder?

It’s important to grab any opportunity that’s presented to you and gain as much experience as possible. It’s also important to be driven, passionate and to listen to feedback about yourself and use it as part of your development.

What does it take to be good at your job?

Patience is important, as is being a good listener and communicator.

Product knowledge is vital, as is competitor understanding, so that you’re never caught in a sticky situation. I’m also looking at new ways of working and using transferable skills from previous jobs.

And last – but not least – it helps to be outgoing in my line of work.

What are the big challenges in your job?

The geographical area I cover is very large, so it’s difficult to have maximum impact on all agents in the area.

The other big issue is that the UK market is often perceived as unsexy. It’s my job to make agents aware of the earning potential of UK breaks, especially at this time of the year.

What’s the best part of your job?

Meeting new people and travelling.

What’s the worst part of your job?

Being away from my wife for long periods of time – although at least the time we do spend together is quality time.

If you weren’t working in travel, what would you be doing?

Probably something to do with fishing – I would like to own a fishery.