International Travel Management
John Clifford transitioned from leisure agent, to corporate agent to agency manger, and then to owning and operating his own La Jolla, CA-based luxury travel company.
After completing an agent course (and graduating at the top of his class), Clifford started work at an American Express affiliate agency, then staffed the VIP and international desks of corporate travel agencies like Carlson Wagonlit Travel and Maritz Travel.
When he went out on his own, "It took a year for me to develop clientele. The second year I barely survived, and the third year it started to happen."
"As is true with our entire industry, it's all about
who you know," says Amanda Klimak, vice president of Waterbury, CT-based
Largay Travel. "I had a friend who ran a local travel agency that had a
position open for a 'travel agent wannabe.' I eagerly applied, since I had just
dropped out of college and was cleaning stalls in a horse barn," she
confides. "Even at $6 an hour this was a huge improvement from taking care
of Mr. Ed," she jokes. "After a month of training at the
"I never wanted to do anything but travel," says
Jewell Ramos, outside sales consultant for Worldview Travel in
President, VIP Vacations Inc.
"I started selling travel because I wanted a part-time job and my marketing professor told me that I had to sell what I loved," says Jennifer Doncsecz, president of Whitehall, PA-based VIP Vacations Inc. "I had always loved travel, so it seemed the right fit." She, like all of the agents we queried, found the perfect industry to match her skills and her love of travel.
—Jennifer Merritt, David Eisen, Mark Rogers, Mackenzie Allison, Dan Butcher