One of the joys of working in the travel business is that I get to work with like minded folks who love travel, who are creative, savy, like food and wine, french culture and lifestyle.
Let me tell you about my 2021 interns Jamie and Anais. They are both students studying tourism who were looking for internship opportunities last January right in the middle of the pandemic. Travel was at a standstill, border restrictions implemented worldwide, curfews, masks -not really the ideal time to look for an internship in a travel business, right? When they contacted me submitting the applications , I was dealing with cancellations and not a single reservation in sight. Once I had interviewed Jamie and Anais, I felt that despite the context, we would all benefit from working together . They would get their internships and I would double up on my efforts to be more creative and to better promote my tours.
Their 3 month internships have just come to an end and here is what they have to share with you.
Anais Carpentier : Our Frenchie, based in Toulouse
I had a great time doing this internship at Absolutely Southern France and got super lucky to work with Nancy because she taught me so many things about the travel industry. During these 3 months, I had the chance to learn about tour design and how to contact and negociate with suppliers in order to offer a high-end journey to our travellers. I was in charge of designing a 2022 Epic Shopping tour to the Riviera. Since I love french fashion, I really enjoyed speaking to the partners in shops and putting together this fun experience. Mostly I learned about how a business recovers from the terrible crisis and I felt honoured to be part of the relaunch. I was also super lucky to take part to a site inspection in Saint Rémy de Provence and discovered a lot about my own country !
The most challenging part for me was promoting on social media for example our 10th anniversary celebration and a tea towel giveaway contest. I had no idea so many criteria had to be taken into account and even if I still struggle with it, I’ll continue making progress (hopefully!)
Unfortunately my internship came to an end but I would like to, once again thank Nancy for everything she taught me, as a professional but also as a person and I’m keeping every advice she gave me and will make sure I can use them later. My colleague Jamie and I were very lucky to have her because I consider her as my mentor and felt truly inspired by everything she achieved. Having the chance to work with her and occasionally travel to Absolutely’s office in Sète was a great occasion to see her in a work context but also see what a great and funny and caring person she is. Thank you for sharing a glass of wine with us and some funny anecdots, showing me Sète and for cooking for us !
In the future, I would like to continue working in tourism as a project manager or any job related to customer service because I really enjoy helping others to make their stay enjoyable .
Jamie Bal – Our Belgian chocolate lover
I had so much fun !
During the past 3.5 months, I worked closely with Nancy who showed me around behind the scenes of her travel agency Absolutely Southern France. She taught me many things about the tourism industry, the running of a business, the website and social media branding, publicity, …
She walked me through all the steps of tour design and honestly, it’s so much more than I could ever imagine! It was very enriching to work so closely with a professional who has been in this industry for so many years!
During my internship, I managed essentially 3 projects: Excited About Food, Joie de Vivre in Provence and the Riviera and a social media tea towel giveaway contest celebrating Absolutely’s 10th anniversary. I learned to pay attention to details, online communication and tour building. I got to organize and participate in some fun site inspections. Personally, this was one of the many rewarding jobs I did; meeting service providers with whom I had been in contact for a while and testing out fun activities !
For the 10th anniversary of Absolutely, I got to follow up on the tea towel giveaway contest. I really enjoyed being in touch with the customers who shared their dreams, memories, love and passion for the South of France in the comments on our posts.
I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to do my internship here at Absolutely Southern France together with Anaïs, we made a great team! This internship has broadened my horizons and inspired me to continue my studies in ‘Event & Management’ after graduating in ‘Tourism and Leisure Management’ in Belgium.
With my next steps in Event Management, who knows I might come back to the South of France !