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Categories: Special ReportIndustry Interview

Face Time with Jennifer Steinke

For this veteran travel manager, success is built on relationships found across the spectrum of corporate travel
BTE:  You’ve been all over the business travel industry. How did you first get involved?

STEINKE:  My first experience ever at a travel agency was back in 1986. I was moving out to Utah at the age of 18 all by myself. I had saved all my money, and the cheapest ticket I could get was on People Express. I bought it in a travel agency, and I remember walking in and thinking, What a cool job that is! And then two days later, People Express went bankrupt. The travel agent called me and said, “Jennifer, they went bankrupt but you’re in luck. I can get you your money back.” And that guy saved me.I spent nine months in Utah and then came home. What do I do now? So I literally opened the Yellow Pages to the word School, and it said Travel School. And I thought, That’s it! That travel agency – that would be a cool job. So I went to travel school 33 years ago.

BTE:  How did you make the transition to corporate travel?

STEINKE:  For the first 13 years, I was in the agency world; I started out hand writing and delivering airline tickets. I was a corporate travel agent, worked in accounting, did the ARC report, did marketing and training. Then I got onto the corporate side managing an in-house corporate travel department. But I had done a lot of different agency work, and when you come into the CTD world, all of those things are very valuable. And that’s when I got involved with GBTA and started becoming active in the industry.

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