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Early Careers: Relocating for the Expedia Group Graduate Program (EGGP)

Our Expedians travel from far and wide to join our Early Careers programs, including the Expedia Group Graduate Program. This program was designed to accelerate the development of students who join us after completing their studies. While on the program, Graduates take part in multiple team rotations and learn a great deal about their teams, which helps them to gain a breadth, and depth, of knowledge of our business.

We wanted to explore the exciting journeys our Grads undertook to relocate to some of our Expedia Group offices, so we caught up with a few folks to hear their stories on moving to Chicago, Seattle, London, and Gurgaon.


Dianne Pham, Program Manager Graduate in Chicago

Why did you decide to move to Chicago?

I come from a small town, and the dream of many small-town natives is to move towards bigger things. Chicago provides so many opportunities as a city, and this was my chance to really explore outside of my comfort zone.

How did you decide on where to live?

I googled the address for the location of the Chicago office and looked for apartments in the general area. My start date was in August, so I set aside time in June to visit Chicago for a weekend and toured apartments and made a decision by July.

Had you been to Chicago before for the program? What did you think about the city already?

I had never been to Chicago before and did not even consider living there before getting my offer. I knew Chicago was the third largest city in America and was excited to see what the city would offer.

How have you settled in so far?

I have settled in very well. The EGGP program helped me create bonds with other colleagues in my Chicago cohort, which led to fun weekends of us exploring. Additionally, my team has been great at giving recommendations of where to live and how to accommodate to the colder weather.

What is the best thing about the Chicago office?

The location of the Chicago office is great. The building itself has a food court on the first floor and has exclusive events for all companies that occupy its offices. There’s a food hall right next door, and the building is also right next to the Chicago River.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

The culture! My team has made me feel very welcomed and encourages me to reach out. They have helped me with my career development but also offer advice for how to navigate within the city. Overall, I feel comfortable at EG and am not scared to ask for help when I am lost.

Did you have many people in your network in the city already?

I knew one other person in Chicago before moving here, but they were a classmate from a while back.

What would your top tips be for people moving to the city?

The location of your apartment is very important! Within the city, Chicago is built to favor public transportation & walking. Driving can get inconvenient and ride sharing apps are expensive. Find an apartment near train stations and are within walking distance from grocery stores.

What have you enjoyed most about Chicago so far?

There is always something happening in Chicago. Nearly everything is only a train ride away and most entertainers (singers, comedians, etc) will come to Chicago. There’s endless exploration and I have yet to feel bored.

What do you think is the most unique thing about Chicago?

Chicago is one of the architectural capitals in the world. I have travelled to many cities in America, and nothing has been more breath-taking than Chicago’s skyline.

What has been your favorite weekend getaway so far (if you’ve been on one)?

Not necessarily a whole weekend getaway, but within a 1–2-hour drive from Chicago are farms which offer apple picking in the fall. It was a fantastic experience and a fun getaway from the city.

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Tips from our Early Careers team in Chicago

Mikelle Moore and Heidy Garcia are both Early Careers recruiters based in our Chicago office. Check out their recommendations.

Mikelle’s recommendations:

Asadito – “Located in Chicago’s hot West Loop neighborhood, Asadito offers Tacos with Hand-Pressed Tortillas, Margaritas, Tequila, and authentic Sides. It’s right next door to the Expedia Group Chicago office!”

The Magnificent Mile – “The Magnificent Mile is one of the great avenues of the world and is at the center of all that makes Chicago an international destination. One of the top 10 hospitality, dining and retail destinations in the world, with endless shopping, international cuisine, top rated hotels, lively entertainment, majestic architecture and natural beauty at every turn.”



Heidy’s recommendations:

“Pequod’s – Is a pizzeria known for its unique atmosphere and great deep dish pizza. It’s regularly featured on food and restaurant television shows, as one of the Top 5 Pizzas in the United States. Tourists from all over the world visit Pequod’s to try their award-winning pizza.”




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Kelly Keegan, Human Resources Graduate in
Seattle

Why did you decide to move to Seattle?
I decided to move to Seattle primarily for the program. I had never seen a program like this for human resources, only tech. It got me excited, and it was a “can’t miss opportunity” for me! Although I was nervous, I knew it was a move that would pay off in the future and help me in my career.

How did you decide on where to live?
I was lucky enough to be able to visit Seattle before my big move and tour the city. On my first day here, I walked through the city with my parents and marked on a map areas that I thought were cool, had good restaurants, or piqued my interest. The next day I went back and looked at apartments in those neighborhoods and I found my new home!

Had you been to Seattle before for the program? What did you think about the city already?
I had never been to Seattle before the program, and I didn’t know much about the city except for the Space Needle and the movie Sleepless in Seattle. Once I got here, I realized Seattle is much more than those things and started to learn more about the culture, environment, and people of Seattle!

How have you settled in so far?
I have been with Expedia Group for a few months now, and I already feel settled into Seattle. The transition has been much easier than I thought, thanks to Expedia Group. EGGP (Expedia Group Graduate Program) Launchpad gave me the opportunity to bond and become close friends with the other graduates, who are now my closest friends here! The Early Careers team, responsible for managing the EGGP, also helped us to explore the city more by packing our first weeks with events and happy hours outside of the office in different neighborhoods, and my teams have continued to do this with team lunches and happy hours outside of the office.

What is the best thing about the Seattle office?
There are so many amazing things about the Seattle office! My favorites would have to be the amazing location and view of Elliot Bay, the many delicious and diverse options we have for lunch (including food trucks), and how beautiful the actual office itself is and the thought gone into it. A major bonus is also the full gym with trainers on campus!

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?
I have enjoyed all the learning and growth I have been able to accomplish at Expedia Group. Already I can see improvements in a lot of areas and more confidence in my work, thanks to my co-workers and managers on my rotations. I also feel so much more independent and mature since moving across the country for this opportunity, and I have received so much support from my co-workers in this area as well!

Did you have many people in your network in the city already?
No, I didn’t know anyone who currently lived in Seattle when I moved!

What would your top tips be for people moving to Seattle?
My top tips would be to walk the city and learn the bus system because the public transit system will always get you where you need to go, and Expedia pays for your Orca card!

What have you enjoyed most about the city so far?
Seattle has so many things to offer and so many fun experiences. I have been to secret pop-up concerts, cool dining experiences, amazing art all over the city, and fun bars that have games like mini golf, ping pong, arcade games, and more! If you are looking for something new or a fun night, Seattle always has something unique to check out.

What do you think is the most unique thing about Seattle?
The most unique thing about Seattle is the Freemont Troll! He lives under the Aurora Bridge in the Freemont neighborhood and is just one of the many unique pieces of art that Seattle has all over.

What has been your favorite weekend getaway so far (if you’ve been on one)?
San Francisco! It’s only a 2-hour flight away and with our travel benefits you can fly standby with a discount. I visited with my sister, and we were able to see the whole city in 2 days and I’m planning to go back this summer! We also have a San Francisco office if you wanted to extend your weekend.

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Tips from our Early Careers team in Seattle

Ari Ortiz is an Early Careers recruiters based in our Seattle office. Check out Ari’ recommendations.


Ari’s Recommendations:
“Personally, I love to go paddle boarding or walk around Greenlake Park. Be sure to check out some nearby hikes, like Franklin Falls or Little Si, and catch a Ferry ride to nearby islands Bainbridge, Vashon, or Whidbey for some small-town exploring! If you’re going to go to Starbucks, aim to visit the Roastery in Capitol Hill.”





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Tal Matadar, Product Manager Graduate in London

Why did you decide to move to London?

The Graduate Program was hybrid so I moved closer to the office in order to go in on a regular basis. My home was 4 hours (near Manchester) away before I moved.

How did you decide on where to live?

I used a website called SpareRoom, I found flats near to the office and started speaking to potential landlords. I was able to book everything within a couple of weeks!

Had you been to London before for the program? What did you think about the city already?

I’d actually been to London around 3-4 times before I moved, mainly as a tourist so it’s a completely different experience living in the city.

How have you settled in so far?

Yes absolutely, the city is amazing, I’ve got a flatmate I get on with really well and working at Expedia Group has been a ton of fun.

What is the best thing about the London?

There’s always something to do! No matter your interests, there’s always things going on that you’ll love.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

The people, definitely the people. I’ve gotten a chance to meet a so many lovely, talented individuals. I’ve been able to learn new skills and understand more cultures through meeting everyone. 


Esha Gupta, Data Engineer in Gurgaon

Why did you decide to move to Gurgaon?

Gurgaon is the second largest IT hub of India, so it’s a really good place for someone who has just started their career in IT, I firmly believe that you get to learn a lot from the people that surround you and that was one of the main reasons why I moved here.

How did you decide on where to live?

I’m not going to lie it was a difficult process, but one that definitely helps you grow as a human, you understand what are the things you like and what are the things you prioritize. I started looking for a place one month before shifting and made a list of things that I wanted in my place, I short listed a few places and talked to the owners before finally deciding to come and visit Gurgaon and look at the places, I ended up liking one of the places I shortlisted and finalized it.

Had you been to Gurgaon before for the program? What did you think about the city already?

Yes, I really liked the atmosphere and how ambitious and hard working the people were.

How have you settled in so far?

I feel settled now, I know a few spots that I like in the city, have made some new friends and it feels like a good city to live in.

What is the best thing about the Gurgaon office?

The people are really helpful, even if you have a really small doubt, they are always willing to help, the overall office design is also pretty good and helps people collaborate during work easily. Apart from that, the office provides a range of scrumptious food options throughout the day including cakes which a person can access using their hunger box wallet.

What have you enjoyed most about working at Expedia Group?

The culture and the people, the people from not just my team but from other teams as well have really helped me through the process, one can ask doubts easily and can suggest any ideas they have, and people are very open to listening to them. The work life balance is something that the company really focuses on, and people are conscious about including everyone in the conversation which is something I feel like is important.

Did you have many people in your network in the city already?

Yes, I had a few friends in Gurgaon, who I connected with before relocation to discuss which areas I should look to find a good place, and they helped me throughout the process.

What would your top tips be for people moving to Gurgaon?

Start looking for a place at least one month before your move and explore the local markets they have some really good food options. If possible, try finding a place that is near to your office as the daily commute can become difficult because of the office hour rush.    


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