Marilyn Oelofse started her career at Pentravel as an Apprentice, and has over the past few years grown into her role as a Travel Advisor. We chatted to Marilyn about her journey through the company thus far, and learnt more about her travel aspirations, what it means to be successful and her advice to someone starting out.
When did you join Pentravel?
I began my Pentravel Journey on the 1st of March 2016 as an Apprentice.
Tell us about your journey to success?
I have always wanted to be a travel agent ever since my aunt used to tell me all her stories when I was a little girl. I have always been passionate about travel. I obtained my degree in Travel and Tourism in 2014. I then went on to work in the exciting Timbavati Game Reserve in Hospitality at the exclusive Kings Camp Game Lodge. I worked there for the year of 2015 and had some of the most exhilarating experiences of my life, ranging from encounters with leopards to almost bumping into a hyena.
I still had my heart set on being a travel agent. I walked into Pentravel Menlyn with my CV and chatted to the manager about wanting to pursue my career as a travel agent with Pentravel. I had no travel experience and was therefore appointed as an apprentice, which I was so excited about. I had my foot in the door and it was now time to prove myself.
I went from Apprentice to Advisor within the time frame of two years. This took a lot of hard work and determination but was so worth it in the end.
What do you believe makes you a successful consultant?
My desire is to make people happy and ensure their travel dreams come true. Remain positive, at all times even when times are tough. My amazing Menlyn Team, I would not be where I am today without every beautiful individual in this supportive and loving team.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I won top travel agent in the year 2017, this was an incredible moment, my whole team was screaming and shouting and hugging me and I had no idea what was going on. I even asked Nicole when I got on stage if she was sure. This was by far the most exciting moment and made me so proud.
Where have you travelled while working at Pen?
- My very first trip with Pentravel and my first trip overseas was to Mauritius on a Beachcomber Educational.
- I travelled to Thailand that same year on a personal trip
- Mauritius with my mom, I won 3 Nights at the 5* Constance Belle Mare Plage at a Thompsons Road show.
- Contiki Europe Christmas Markets- Amsterdam, Munich, Lucerne.
- Cambodia Highclimbers
- Maldives and Dubai Educational
- France – Le Boat Incentive
What parts of the job do you find challenging?
Managing everything, clients are sometimes quite demanding. You need to multi-task continuously. You are answering calls, helping walk-ins and responding to emails. You get used to it though; some days are also more difficult than others.
What advice do you have for newbies?
Take note of everything that you are taught, because you will forget.
Be ready to learn and listen.
Respect your senior consultants, they know what’s going on and can only help you grow.