Berlin to Cape Town: a Regional Manager on his career growth
Today we hear from Vincenzo Chianese, Regional Manager Southern & Eastern Africa, on his progression from Destination Manager at our HQ in Berlin to leading our growth in Africa out of Cape Town.
When did you join GetYourGuide and in what role?
I started working at GYG about 3.5 years ago as a Destination Manager for the “Rest of the World” which back in the days meant everything outside of our top destinations in Europe.
I managed accounts in South East Asia, North Africa, Eastern Europe, South America, and spent my days talking to people from every continent. The Sales team looked very different back then with only 10 people sitting in our Berlin office and just one global office in Rome. Now, look at us: we have almost 80 people on the Sales team and are spread across 15 offices worldwide. It’s been quite a journey already, but there’s so much more to come!
How has your career progressed and your role changed since you joined GYG?
After a year managing GYG’s emerging countries, I became the Destination Manager for the Nordics, with a special focus on Iceland. Thanks to a tremendous team effort, the country went through massive growth, which facilitated my promotion to Senior Destination Manager. Later on, when GYG decided to open an office in Cape Town, I made sure I was going to be the best candidate for the job. I had a two-month assignment in the region, so I learned the ins and outs of the industry and finally interviewed for the role of Regional Manager for Southern & Eastern Africa. A few months ago I left Berlin for sunny Cape Town, and I am now hiring a team to help me manage this new exciting part of the world.
What qualities did you develop that were essential to your growth?
Working with suppliers from different parts of the world taught me how to be flexible in my communication style and understand that business doesn’t happen everywhere in the same way. Working with tough accounts like attractions taught me how to be persistent and that only practice makes perfect. In some cases, I had to learn how to better handle conflict without being too emotional. And I’m not done learning. GYG is such a fast-paced company, these days I ask myself “how do I do whatever I am doing, just 3 times faster?”
When you look back at your career path at GetYourGuide, is there one moment that stands out as either a particular moment of pride or of challenge that contributed to your growth? Why does this moment stand out?
Working alone and remotely hasn’t always been easy. At HQ, I grew accustomed to having hundreds of people around me, which made internal communication way easier. At times being so far from everyone has been frustrating and challenging. However, that has taught me to keep communicating effectively while remote and to reach out for support when I need it. My response to this challenge is what made this moment particularly memorable because it showed me how strong the GYG culture is and how committed everyone is to not only the company but to one another’s wellbeing.
How have your managers or colleagues been instrumental in helping you grow?
My colleagues played a major role in my development and I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity to work with so many smart, talented, and passionate people. My managers have challenged me when necessary and rewarded my achievements when I deserved it. Most importantly, they took a chance on me and gave me the opportunity to work in a role in which I didn’t have experience. This is what inspires me to do my best every day. I do my best so I can hopefully contribute to someone else’s growth the way my managers have and still contribute to mine.
What advice would you give to others looking to progress at GYG or elsewhere?
Own your development: do not wait for opportunities to be given to you, but rather seize them yourself.
Surround yourself with smart, experienced people and learn from them.
Do not get comfortable: take chances and go after a job you don’t entirely feel ready for. After all, it’s better to be scared than bored!
Thank you Vincenzo for sharing your advice and reflecting on your time at GetYourGuide. Interested in joining the Sales team? Check out our open positions.