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In the seat next to you: Stephanie Uilenberg, Account Executive

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Growing up near an airport – Stephanie’s dream of becoming a stewardess never really faded away. Today she helps travel agents shape journeys as an Account Executive at Amadeus in the Netherlands.

Does travel hold a special place in your heart?

Indeed it does. It all started when I was little and we lived near Schiphol airport. The planes, the travelers,… the whole atmosphere truly fascinated me. As you can imagine, I desperately wanted to become a stewardess.

My dream never really changed, so after high school I studied Tourism Management. As I enjoyed studying so much, I decided to continue with a Master in Communication Science.

Are you living your dream today?

In a more indirect way, I do, yes. As an Account Executive at Amadeus I help travel agents. My professional goal is to help them work more efficiently and assist them in crafting truly wonderful journeys.

The fun part about working in travel? It’s very dynamic. There are always new challenges to uncover. Whether you work for an airline, tour operator, IT provider,… It’s never quite the same.

How do you go about helping your customers?

Constant collaboration is key. I often visit customers personally to go over their processes together. That way, I find out how we can offer them a more efficient way of working. Some of my clients are excited about my input, others are more conservative. But I always find a way to help them – either with large or small enhancements such as offering more ancillary services.

In both cases, we find a way to help travel agents delight their customers. Through that process you build personal relationships, and that’s what I love to do.

I like a lot of input from my colleagues. And I mean a lot. (laughs) I’m sure that I ask the most questions of any of my colleagues.

Where did you work before you joined Amadeus?

Before joining Amadeus I worked at several types of travel companies, such as an airline, tour operator and in business and online travel. At TravelBird, for instance, I started as a Product Maker, creating the travel packages, and became an Account Manager Transportation later on.

What I have learned about myself is that I enjoy being in contact with customers or partners and building a relationships by cooperating well.

Why did you switch to travel IT?

While studying Tourism Management, the GDS fascinated me! I had worked with Amadeus solutions myself and knowing how these solutions can truly help a travel agency influenced my decision to make the switch.

Do you love to travel yourself?

Of course, I do! But you have to know that I am a very meticulous planner. You could call me a control freak. Even when we travel to the other side of the planet, I like to have every day mapped out.

Our last large trip took us to Japan. A fantastic country! The culture is very different and we really enjoyed our trip. What I enjoy most, however, is nature. In Japan, my favorite spot was Miyajima. More particularly, the view from the top of the island and how peaceful it was in the early morning.

In general, I love being outside. It relaxes me. And if you can follow that up with some great food, like in Italy, that’s the best time you can have.