IWTA speaks with Vicki Parris – VP Customer Success FCM Travel Solutions Asia
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We are delighted to introduce you to Vicki Parris – VP Customer Success FCM Travel Solutions Asia
Vicki is a New Zealander who joined Flight Centre as a Travel Consultant in her home country, as ‘just a job’ and something to do whilst she settled back into home life after a few years of travelling around the world. She never imagined she would spend the next 15 years in the industry.
After a few years with the company, working her way up the leadership ladder, Vicki was encouraged to apply for the Brand Leader role in India.
Loving a challenge, Vicki, her husband and daughter spent 3 years in India, followed by Singapore, where she is currently based to oversee Asian operations.
Lessons learned in India
One of very few women in leadership roles with FCM at that time, Vicki’s experiences in India taught her to listen and ask questions more than give direction – to lead with confidence but also humility, to be curious and inquisitive and to explore the best way to move forward within an environment that was so different to what she had been accustomed to.
Growing up in a large family, with a serial entrepreneur as a mother, Vicki learned confidence and leadership from her role models and environment. She was then encouraged by her mentors within FCM to recognise and appreciate her strengths, and encouraged to undertake leadership training courses.
Vicki has continued with her personal development through coaching and NLP studies, amongst others and blends her leadership style with lessons learned from these disciplines.
Nurturing Women in Travel
Recognising potential is key in a leadership position, and Vicki is passionate about encouraging women in particular to see their own strengths, and to help them to recognise and bridge knowledge gaps through continued development, and to have confidence to put themselves forward for more challenging roles.
She focuses on being an accessible leader, available for everyone, men and women, to talk and ask questions whenever necessary.
Advice to younger self
Trust yourself more. Worry less about how you are seen, and more about how you are being/moving through the world. Say YES to opportunities, even if you are scared. Don’t hold yourself back.
Advice to young people considering a career in travel
Think about natural strengths and what excites them. Travel is hard work; it can be glamourous and fun but you have to be passionate about it to be successful.
Grow technical skill sets, but also your own self-awareness, and learn to communicate well, which includes listening.
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