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5 in 5! with Sandra Marsh, Marketing Coordinator at Instantravel

January 1, 2013

Instantravel logo

Instantravel (@InstanTravel) is a world leading online travel agency, that is dedicated to helping their clients plan their trips worldwide at low discounts while still ensuring a thorough trip planning process. You can find helpful traveling tips and more information on their Facebook and Blog.

1. How did you get started in the industry? How can someone who is interested in your work get started?

Sandra Marsh, Instantravel

Sandra H. Marsh, Marketing Coordinator

The whole purpose of Instantravel as a travel agency is to provide quality care and important travel resources to our clients. The expertise of Instantravel agents is essential to providing such low discounts and to ensuring a thorough trip planning process. While agents are not paid directly by the clients, their income is earned based on the commission of the services they book for those clients (e.g. cruises, hotel stays, transportation). Regardless, the costs remain about the same (if not less) for those travelling and in addition they essentially have a travel confidant to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.

The CEO of Instantravel and its umbrella company, Worldwide Enterprises, LLC, Michael Spriggs, was a friend of mine throughout college. He approached me in my senior year in hopes that I would contribute my artistic skills to his (then) new company. I decided to take him up on his offer several months later. By the middle of the following year, 2012, we were both looking at an opportunity for me to join the marketing and communications front of Instantravel. So here I am today. I am a recent college graduate myself which is why I relate extensively to the Y generation, and to those seeking out professional opportunities and internships in hopes of gaining valuable experience.

Instantravel is a host agency in a stage of expansion. Our most innate hope is to continue growing our network as we are transitioning out of the deemed start up phase. We want to attract eager minds and that entrepreneurial spirit which is driving many successful small business globally. This is a big part of the reason why most of our business is done virtually so as to attract new agents, team members, collaborators, and clients. With interests ranging from the travel industry to human resources to psychology, many prospective interns will find that our company has needs within those realms, all of which will help continue to expand the network; and I am confident that these interns will enjoy contributing to a team where their ideas and knowledge will be valued in that process.

2. What’s the future of your industry or job?

The future of the travel industry is being governed by “megasites” like Expedia and Orbitz, which are not necessarily travel agencies. What sets Instantravel apart from them is that we offer personalized service. These websites do have customer care hotlines for the most part, but those are usually for when discrepancies arise concerning booking issues and cancellations. The downside is that the customers cannot guarantee reaching the same individual each time. Working with a personal agent is different in the sense that one can guarantee to speak with the same person, and not only that but have custom service in a more relational context.

Instantravel is a leading company because of its potential to bridge that gap between the virtual and the tangible, interactive realms of human relationships.

3. What do you look for when you hire an intern or entry-level candidate?

Instantravel values openness, honesty, integrity, enthusiasm, flexibility and initiative-takers when seeking out prospective employees and interns. These have been proven skills that have not only helped me excel in all prior professional roles but also within this company.

4. What is one thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression?

I recall the interview I had with our first intern (we found her through actually!) and I was impressed that she not only delivered everything that we asked for up front but she also offered more than what we had specified in our internship description. I can only stress again that initiative is one of the many keys to excelling in any capacity.

5. Can you share a positive intern story and an intern horror story? No names needed…

When preparing the training materials for our new intern, I was seeking out some neat ideas for icebreakers and came across a link to Googlism. This is like Google but instead of searching it prompts the users to search their names in order to see what Google says about them. I had the intern do this as her first task and we compared our results as the beginning of our training session. Icebreakers are so appropriately named. Without them things can feel so serious and rigid. Taking matters too seriously can one of the most counter productive things. (I have to catch myself every once in a while and remember to relax.) Getting started on a good foot with our intern gave us a valuable moment even when our workload began getting heavier some weeks later. Team building is important to our company because without them we are not just counterproductive–nothing is accomplished at all.

Interested in interning with the Istantravel team? They’re currently looking for a Spring 2013 virtual marketing intern! Apply now.

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