GetYourGuide Goes to Oz!
We recently chatted with Stephanie Hubner, our Sydney-based Area Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Perpetuating the true-blue Australian image, this is a pic of her feeding cute wallabies and wearing Havaianas.
How did an Australian end up working here at GetYourGuide?
As you can probably tell by my name, I do have some sort of link to Germany. My grandparents, or as we call them ‘Omi and Opa’, escaped after the war to Australia to start afresh. My Omi, Helga Huebner, is still going strong as a 5 foot tall, 89 year old kartoffelsalat loving world traveller. Naturally I always had an urge to discover my german heritage and ended up studying in Berlin in 2011. I fell deeply in love with the city and insisted it would be the biggest regret in my life if I did not move there! In 2012, after 3 months of smoking way too many shishas in Turkey and speed racing quad bikes around the Greek islands, I ended up back in Berlin. I knew I wanted to work in a fast moving startup, travel related, with great colleagues. GetYourGuide filled all those criteria smashingly!
I still remember going to the office for the interview in October 2012 and feeling amazed by the open plan ‘startup vibe’, club mate and red furry wall. It was evident that was the place for me!
How did you find the move from Australia to Berlin?
As I had already been to Berlin in 2011 on exchange, it was very easy to move there in 2012! The only emotion I had with the move was sheer excitement and an intense urge to discover the culture and immerse myself as much as I possibly could. I already had an apartment set up through a German friend so I literally hit the ground running with job applications, german language school and an in depth analysis of the Berlin nightlife. It took me about 5 weeks of applications to land the interview with GetYourGuide, which in my opinion was an eternity. The common problem with job interviews was that everyone expected me to be German or speak German fluently due to my name. I could not live up to this expectation! This same assumption happens in Sydney with the Aussie suppliers, I have been told many times ‘ Your english is very good for a German’. I am grateful for their compliments nonetheless.
Now you’re our Area Manager for Australia and New Zealand. How did your career at GetYourGuide change to land you in a gig in sunny Sydney?!
I have literally been around the world for GetYourGuide. When I started as an Account Manager (AM) in 2012 I was in charge of Asia, Africa and South Africa. Somewhere towards the end of 2013, I began working on some areas of UK and Ireland with Alexi. We then had the pleasure of meeting the dutch suppliers at World Travel Market in November, and as no one was currently managing the Netherlands for GetYourGuide, it was evident this would be the next focus area! In January 2014 I began growing Amsterdam as my main city and in July I was promoted to Senior AM. Towards the end of 2014 I then picked up Stockholm and Australia. The itch to return home began at the end of last year. After many discussions it was decided that ‘downunda’ deserved a lot more attention from us than it was currently getting, and I was the person to make this happen.
Tell us about your work day-to-day.
Most days start with checking up on all the emails that come in from Germany overnight. As well as this I usually have set out a plan of which landing pages I will be sourcing for, contracting or following up on. I do this the night before so I can action these efficiently. Contracting new products is a large part of my day here as we are missing a lot of key inventory and need to build this up quickly. This involves researching for the best products, sourcing the leads, contracting and onboarding the suppliers and making sure we get their products uploaded and online as fast as possible. There is also a lot of interaction with existing suppliers in relation to how we can optimise their products and grow the sales to a much larger extent. This involves calls and also many face to face visits to build the supplier relationship, engage with the product and improve the overall experience for our customers.
We see you’ve been at some pretty cool-looking fairs lately. Where did you go, what were you doing and anything you can share with us?
The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) was my first trade fair in Australia and it was sensational! 4 days of 120 scheduled 13 minute meetings held with suppliers from all over Australia. That’s efficiency right there.
This year the fair was at the Gold Coast in Queensland and even though it was May (Autumn) it was a beautiful 28 degrees each day. In the mornings we were greeted by various musicians, at lunch we were treated to buffets of fresh Australian produce and at night we enjoyed parties hosted by the tourism boards.
As part of ATE I also travelled to Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef to meet suppliers and test products. In the name of GetYourGuide, I went on the fastest swing in the world… lifted 50 metres high (I am scared of heights) through a rainforest and then swung through the trees at 120km/h. I also went on a helicopter above the Great Barrier Reef which is one of the most amazing tourism experiences I have ever had.
Finally, what’s your pick for the best GetYourGuide tour in Australia?
Definitely Bridge Climb Sydney!
Sydney Harbour Bridge climb is the ultimate product to give you an adrenaline rush as well as a completely unique and breathtaking experience. Throughout the whole climb up, you can see the Opera House, Sydney Harbour and the botanical gardens. During VIVID light festival, you even get the chance to boogy on a fluoro dance floor on the top of the Bridge!!