My name is James Kirby and this year I am the Resort Manager for Mayrhofen and the Zillertal Valley in Austria. It’s a big team and fantastic resort and I’m really looking forward to the experience!
This will now be my 15th season (I think I’m going to have to start counting in years soon) working for the company both Overseas and in a UK role.
Here’s a summary of what roles/destinations I’ve worked in up to now.
I started back in 2008 as a lakes and mountains rep in Austria in St Wolfgang which was a massive change of lifestyle for me going from city centre Manchester at the time where I had been studying (only just a little). I then stayed with Crystal in 2008/09 for the first winter season when we offered a “one rep” Crystal service for all our customers under the TUI umbrella. This was my first ever time in the snow and I took the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere and learn to snowboard (a little bit anyways!)
For the summer I took to warmer climes heading to the Costa del Sol with beach where I spent a good 8 months soaking in the culture of my now favourite part of Spain.
Back to the UK but for how long….
Upon returning home I thought my travelling days were done and got a job working for First Choice in one of our travel agencies and stayed there for just under a year. Seeking a more normal routine I left the company and found a job working in Banking and over 6 months had 3 different jobs with 2 companies and then in May 2011 suddenly found myself on a flight back to the Alps for another summer season.
There were a few familiar faces around still and felt like I hadn’t really left at all. As luck/fate would have it – I ended up getting placed in Slovenia which I thought would be a lovely place to spend a summer. 2 years passed and I was still there! Slovenia is one of those destinations that really get’s under your skin and if you ever have the opportunity to go I would highly recommend it! During my time in Slovenia I progressed to Rep Supervisor looking after Kranjska Gora for 2 winters with the rep and childcare team there.
Time to move on
After 2 years it was time to move on and I moved over to beach for a summer in Tenerife back as a Holiday Advisor. Tenerife is a great place to work but it just wasn’t for me – made some great friends there and had some great times too!
Back to ski
That winter I headed off to Bulgaria and to Pamporovo for what was one of my best winters – such a tiny resort but a lot of fun and games and great results were achieved despite the serious lack of snow! This was one of the season I really took to snowboarding having had mixed success in the past but something just seem to click this time around!
The next summer it was back to mainstream for me and I was placed in Rhodes, Greece for a summer being the Team Leader of the Thomson Family Resort Programme – something I again enjoyed but knew it certainly wouldn’t be my career forever! Kids are exhausting! While in Rhodes that summer this was one of the trial destinations for “one service” which was now brought in across the whole programme as the destination services re model.
Back to BG
Then last winter I headed back to Bulgaria but this time to Borovets and had a blast! The snow was the best I’ve seen and the resort is just awesome! If you’re looking for a resort with Nightlife – Borovets should be definitely on your list!
My winters seem to be getting better as my career progresses I think! At the end of the winter a job came up for the summer working on the service delivery changes to this year’s winter so I applied for that and was successful and that is what I have been working on for the last 7/8 months with various people from around the Business.
I was based in St Johann in Austria at our Austrian Office – somewhere I had worked for a little bit before while working in Slovenia I would always pop up to do some” in-between” season work in the Ops team.
This summer we took full advantage of all the local trimmings – local beer festivals (and local dress), Canyoning, many a local evening around town watching bands and even a trip into Salzburg for an Irish Music evening of all things!
Things you will definitely be experiencing once you get out to training this winter, I’ve also been working with a lot of the training modules alongside Karen and a few behind the scenes bits and bobs too!
So that pretty much gives you an idea of my experiences to date.
Currently life is consisting of finishing a few of the final projects, packing for winter and this time next week my journey to Austria will begin!
So that’s my work history up to date – outside of work I’m a massive fan of cooking/baking. Watching films and binge watching TV shows on netflix. I definitely am a sociable person always seen out and about with friends and family. Love travelling when not working and experiencing new things!
Oh and I’ve recently grown a beard!
Until next time – James