Commercial Director: Snaptrip
Joanna Davis graduated from Loughborough University with a degree in Fine Art in 2007. Having worked for ITN and now working as a Commercial Director for start-up company Snaptrip, Joanna details her career, skills and how an arts degree has impacted upon working in the tourism industry.
Loughborough is a highly regarded university especially for its art faculty. There is a massive sense of community as you walk around the campus and the facilities the university offer are second to none. It was an all-round winner when making my decision!
My degree required a lot of discipline and motivation, these skills and attributes have helped me progress as a person and to achieve my career goals. Loughborough University helped me to improve my self-confidence, allowing me to flourish in the working world and successfully have the career I am pursuing.
Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?
Get your hands dirty, relish the creative freedom, and experiment. The course provides such fantastic facilities – make the most of them. You don’t get many opportunities or time after those three years to fulfil your passion.
You took part in a range of extra-curricular activities during your studies here, how important were they to you and your experience?
They provided me with an all-round experience, which for me was unforgettable. Not only did it allow me to explore new horizons but it gave me the opportunity to make some fantastic friends.
Finding a job after university was hard - especially a job that had a creative element. I learnt that to reach my own personal goals I needed to change my approach. Instead of looking for a ‘creative’ job, I looked for a career that I could bring my element of creativeness too. The success of my skills such as sales, revenue structures and presenting style have all come from my artistic abilities.
I found media an intriguing industry but after dipping my toes into it I realised it wasn’t quite right for me. Marketing exposed me to creative writing and design but I have found that my real passion is for tourism. I am extremely passionate about travel and I have managed to find a career that combines my love for travel with my passion for interior design.
I manage and retain all of our partners, create relationships with prospective clients, manage in-house operations, and manage all of Snaptrip’s revenue.
My role at ITN (Independent Television Network) was similar in the way that I created and retained relationships. The real differences are the industry and location – I was based in Washington DC and New York for my time at ITN, which was a fantastic experience.
What kinds of skills have you developed in leadership and other areas as a result of your different roles?
I listen, and my main rule is to always treat others as I expect to be treated. A major hurdle for me has always been delegation but after numerous training sessions and support from mentors this is getting far easier for me.
It provided me with great life experience and also a network of friends who have supported me throughout my career.
If there would be one favourite or proudest moment of your career so far, what would that be and why?
Securing the first major industry news contract for ITN in the United States, and winning the ‘Best Co-Worker’ award at TripAdvisor for 2 years running.
Working for a start-up company is a completely new challenge for me, and one that I am grabbing with both hands. I feel so passionate about Snaptrip I truly believe we will conquer the travel industry, and in the words of Albert Einstein, “You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else”.
You can keep up to date with Joanna's work on the Snaptrip website.