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It’s About the Journey: Starting as an Intern with Market Manager, Katy Rupp

Across different years, locations, divisions, and teams, a whole host of our employees have experienced starting their careers on one of our Intern, Apprentice, and Graduate Programs (part of Emerging Talent & Careers at EG). We’ve explored some of these interesting career journeys to find out what the Expedians have experienced since joining the programs, and what they’ve learned along the way.

Katy started her Expedia Group career as a Chicago-based Market Associate (Commercial) Intern in the summer of 2018 and came back to EG full-time in an entry level role upon graduating college where she developed her skills and knowledge. The highlight of Katy’s career has been moving to New York City with Expedia Group. By taking advantage of EG’s growth and development opportunities, she was able to accomplish a long-term goal of working in the Manhattan market.

Tell me about your current role and team

I am currently a Market Manager for the New York City (NYC) Market and I oversee about 30 – 35 properties, in a dynamic market. I am associated with two primary management groups that I split with other EG Market Managers in the area but we all essentially have the same responsibilities. We vary in terms of style, how many accounts we have, and what our goals within these properties are. All of the hotels in the Manhattan market that are contracted with Expedia Group will then feature on EG’s brand sites. We have a mix of large hotel chains, and many independent properties as well. 

 What has your career journey been like since joining as an Intern in 2018?

I originally began my journey at EG in the Chicago Market as a Market Associate Intern in the summer of 2018. I was later offered a full-time role upon graduation and came back full-time. I returned to the Chicago market in 2019 and was there for 2.5 years, before moving to New York City with Expedia Group in January 2022.  

I started by learning my team’s goals, and increasing my business acumen by taking on a vast amount of properties and then scaling that upwards as I developed my skillset. Overall, pre and post pandemic, I would say the role, and what we’re doing day to day, has really stayed very much the same. Throughout the pandemic, in 2020 and 2021, a lot was up in the air and there was not a lot of demand, working in a travel company was complex in the sense that a lot of our partners didn’t have a lot to do, there wasn’t a lot of leisure opportunity to capitalize on. I was very fortunate in my move to New York City and the timing of it – in January 2022, when there was a rebound of the market. I was able to play an important role in recovering share for my properties in the Manhattan market understanding and capitalizing on the trends that we were seeing post-pandemic. I’d say identifying trends is where we’ve seen the most shifts pre and post pandemic. A lot of what we look at is really differing segmentation. So, a big trend in the NYC market is that leisure is back in full swing, this market operates on a big international share.  

What has been the highlight of your career so far at EG? 

I would say the highlight of my career has been moving to New York City and being able to do this at Expedia Group. Having come in as an Intern and being very invested in my career right off the bat, I made the most of EG’s many growth, development, and networking opportunities. I’ve benefitted from always having a lot of very good people in my corner here, and I don’t think that is true only for me, who I am, and the path that I’ve chosen, I think it speaks of the people EG hires. There are a lot of good people here and that’s such a unique offer, especially for a company of this size.

When I started at Expedia Group I always had the goal of moving to Manhattan at the back of my mind. I made sure to get to know the folks on the NYC team and to understand what was happening in their market and the similarities we were seeing from a market management standpoint, what best practices were they doing that we could take back to Chicago and vice versa. It helped me to get that exposure in the direction I wanted to go and I felt incredibly supported throughout that entire experience. I always felt that here there’s a lot of opportunity and transparency here.

What advice would you share with an Intern or Graduate starting at EG? 

I know it sounds cliché but make sure to network. I think it’s important to take the chance to have conversations with a wide variety of colleagues, I always recommend setting up time with people and having a list of questions to get to know them and what they do. At Expedia Group people are very passionate about their jobs and I’ve found so people are very eager to speak to you about what they do, and you never know if you may cross paths again at EG later down the line.

I’d also say know what you’re passionate about and what you want to be doing in your career, that’s what motivated me, what drove me, that collaboration, monetary outputs, flexible work life balance and then being transparent about that. It’s important to spend time reflecting, and considering the work you’re doing – what you’re putting into it and what you’re getting out of it. Plan out where you want be in terms of 1, 3, and 5 years, and consider the steps you should take to get there. The better you’re able to advocate for yourself in any conversation will help, you’re going be the only one that really has full insight and full ability to do so. Make sure you’re showing up consistently true to yourself and speaking for yourself.

What do you enjoy the most about working at EG? 

Expedia Group’s culture is so unique, it’s so fun. You are surrounded by people who are outgoing, supportive, and want to ensure that you are successful in your role. And there’s always plenty going on in the office, so it’s great to take advantage of those opportunities. For example, in the New York City office we’ve regularly had bouquet making activities where our manager will tell us to take a step away from our work for a second and make a bouquet to support our wellness. It feels special, being in an office environment and having the support to be in a good headspace. Mental wellbeing, the supportive culture, and inclusion & diversity being at the forefront of our experience here is something that I truly value, and make the most of. My experience in the office with my team is very open and transparent, we’re comfortable to share when need some time out, it’s about making sure people are okay and listening to what their mind and body is telling them. So it’s very supportive in that sense of making sure that you are okay as an individual and that everyone is understanding that we need to prioritize ourselves. I think that plays into Expedia Group’s larger inclusion and diversity efforts as well in making sure employees feel seen, feel heard, and feel included.

How has the Early Careers program helped you in your career or professional development? 

Being on the Intern Program gave me that initial insight into how supportive the whole organization is, and I was encouraged to take advantage of asking questions. I think it really set me up for success, I learned about opportunities to reach out to different people for various questions and broaden my network right off the bat. When I joined full-time I was able to hit the ground running. I just felt set up for success right away, I really wanted to grow my career with Expedia Group because I felt so supported from day one. 

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