Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 13 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2016 with a major in Electronic Production & Design. Principal instrument: cello.
Position: Account Manager at Booking.com, a multinational company whose website is used by people to book hotel rooms. Julian’s spends close to half his time on the road, meeting with managers of hotels in his territory to keep the business partnerships functioning well and ideally expanding. The rest of his time is spent doing “spreadsheet stuff” — analyzing data, planning, preparing, and reporting; with some meetings, management, and assisting other offices.
Overview: Julian planned to go to L.A. after graduation to do music, but spent the summer in the D.C. area where his girlfriend had an internship. Then his girlfriend’s internship turned into a job and at the same time he got the letter that his student loans were coming due, and he was skeptical that he could earn enough money to cover that while doing music. Julian elected to stay in the DC area and looked for a job, getting one in January 2017 in real estate, doing apartment rentals.
Julian did not particularly enjoy that job and by the late summer was actively looking for something else, but without success. Then one day in the fall of 2017 he rented an apartment to a women who was very impressed by his demeanor and helpful attitude. She told him that she was moving to the area to manage the local office of Booking.com and offered him his current job.
You can see Julian’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I enjoy the travel–everyone my age says they want to travel. I also appreciate the company culture–the mutual support, but also it’s a multi-billion $ company that still acts like a startup: super colorful, open office environment, people always joking with each other, an annual big party in Amsterdam. Booking.com puts real effort into making it fun and inviting to people of all races, ages, etc. That makes a big difference to me.”
“Every meeting is different. Each person is a different character. I might meet with a hotel revenue manager in a suit and tie who spends 7 hours/day looking at spreadsheets and it’s all about the data and we have a short meeting. I have a few suggestions, they have a few questions, we look over it together and we’re done. We also work with people at smaller hotels who are manager, revenue manager, and front desk all in one. Those are more relationship-driven and we might spend 25 minutes on small chat then talk about a couple of action ideas. Before I meet people I audit the property for a couple of hours: how has the property been doing recently, how will it be doing in the near future, and how do they stack up to their local competitors.”
“At Berklee I mastered the concept of breaking things into sub-components and preparation in general. Berklee works you hard, but teaches you the arts of prioritizing and preparing. Whether that”s breaking a difficult passage into a series of scales and patters, or a difficult recording project where you spend 3 days knowing how every microphone and ever piece of equipment will fit into the one-hour recording. That stayed with me. I see the process of preparing a meeting with a partner, or a meeting witha hospitality group, or a presentation. I’m able to do those with the same mindset that I did my projects at Berklee.”
“One of those decisions that made me do this was my student debt. November 2016 I was $32,000 in debt. I’ve been paying it off with my bonuses and commissions and it will be entirely gone in January or February of 2019! Student debt sucks, but if you’re financially resourceful, you can get out quickly.”
“Always try to be the best person you can be, because you never know when opportunity is going to strike. I really didn’t like the (apartment rental) job I was in, but as you know if you feel that way it’s so easy to convey that to other people and to seem disgruntled or negative. If I’d carried that weight while I was with (my now-boss) she would’ve picked up on that and ironically I’d still be there renting apartments.”
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