My name is Lepa Maksic, I am 24 years young and I’m a commercial tourism apprentice at TravelBoard GmbH, a subsidiary of Bayer Business Services, in Leverkusen. Traveling and languages are two of my passions – I obviously have my Serbian roots to thank for that. What could be better than working for an international corporation in their business travel agency? I’m currently in the second year of my apprenticeship and I’m as enthusiastic now as I was at the start!
TravelBoard? That’s right!
Many employees know TravelBoard as Bayer’s business travel agency, but we are so much more than that. We do of course provide support to employees on business trips, but TravelBoard also has a private travel department and would be delighted to help you book your dream holiday. As part of my role, I book flights, hotels and rail tickets, and I arrange car hire for Bayer employees. Plans often change during business trips, meaning that flights need rebooking or hotels need canceling. I really enjoy helping travelers, whether in complying with the Travel Policy or in complicated, tricky situations such as airport strikes. Effective communication with customers is crucial at times like these, and we stress the importance of a friendly attitude, being helpful and choosing your words carefully in these situations.
My journey to TravelBoard
When I graduated from high school, I initially wanted to train to teach English and Spanish. However, I quickly realized that I lacked experience, so I decided to take up an apprenticeship in the travel agency sector since I had completed an enjoyable work placement in the field during high school. In search of an apprenticeship, I discussed my plans with friends and acquaintance and heard about TravelBoard. Having been born in Leverkusen, I grew up with Bayer. I’ve been attending to Bayer employees’ business travel needs since August 2016. Working for a large, multinational corporation is just great because there’s so much variety. I meet all sorts of new people and get an overall view of the different business areas. Employees travel to all the different Bayer sites worldwide, and that expands my own horizons too. Did you know that Bayer has facilities in Tanzania, Kazakhstan or Uruguay?
Alongside my practical experience in the business, I also attend vocational school twice a week. One of the major subjects is “Business processes in tourism.” Alongside tests, we also hold presentations and plan projects. As an example, we are planning a customer event to attract new customers and have to create a presentation for that. Grades from our final examinations are combined with the assessments of our presentations.
In contrast to my fellow students at vocational school, TravelBoard gives me the opportunity to experience a range of different departments and develop all-round skills and experience. I work in the private as well as the business travel department. At TravelBoard’s First travel agency, we help customers plan their holidays. The agency caters for more than just Bayer employees as anyone can use the agency’s services. First travel agency is located in the K9 building on Kaiser-Wilhelm-Allee in Leverkusen. We look forward to seeing you! In addition, I would like to mention that I’ve also gained valuable insights into the visa service and our company’s administration.
If you’d like to apply to TravelBoard, I’d recommend that you just be yourself. Needless to say, you will have to complete a short test during your interview but, above all, you will be given the chance to let your personality shine through.
I hope that I’ve managed to give you a bit of an insight into my workplace, and I’m sure that my story has shown you why I am still enjoying my apprenticeship so much.
Best wishes to you all,
This post is also available in: German