“Our local developers are a true blessing here,” says Stephanie Brouwers, who, when it comes to travel destinations, tends to look a bit further away than our Benelux borders. Japan, or New-Zealand – just to name two destinations.
Not at all.
Stephanie’s job is all about crossing the borders of the different Amadeus departments, nationally and internationally.
And she’s very down-to-earth, by the way.
Is that true, that you like to cross borders?
It is. The thing about product management is that it’s a crossroads really for a lot of different departments. Including international ones. I have to make sure they align. Which provides me with another challenge.
If we want to support, make changes or develop new services for the Benelux that are not international top priorities at Amadeus, we still have to make them happen. Enter our local developers, who’ll take care of that. A true blessing.
It’s nice to make a true difference that way for our Benelux customers.
You do have a typical travel profile, Stephanie, but not an ICT background…
Travel has always been my thing. I did travel studies, and my career started in Meetings & Incentives, and I joined a tour operator later on. But a now ex-colleague showed me the way to Amadeus Benelux, when I realised I was looking for a new challenge.
So what drew you to Amadeus Benelux?
I really wanted to see the system from the inside. I wasn’t that familiar with GDS, you know. But seeing all the different sides of it, all the different groups involved, getting to detail, that really attracted me.
I started at the Amadeus Benelux helpdesk, moved on to training and ended up in product management. And I have been enjoying it for 15 years now. I got my award a while ago, yeay!
15 years, wow. What keeps it interesting?
I have got no typical days. That’s ICT, I guess. It’s what I love about it, the variation. There’s always something happening that needs your attention in an unexpected way.
And at Product Management, I get to go into detail: improving or coming up with new functionalities, new applications. We’re always close to our customers. And thanks to our in-house developers, we really get to make custom products for Benelux travel professionals. Our local developers are a true blessing.
Could you name a personal professional highlight?
Somewhere around the year 2000 we implemented e-ticketing. The move from paper tickets to “virtual” ones seems nothing now, but back then, it was enormous. When I was at Brussels Airport afterwards, I saw all those travellers and the impact of what we did hit me. Quite a lot of them didn’t use paper tickets anymore.
So we really made a huge difference for all those travellers.
What’s your biggest challenge today?
Making people see we offer much more than business travel services. We’ve got a leisure unit now, I manage several leisure products too, and making that unit grow, and making it better, that’s what I am going for now.
What’s your motto, Stephanie?
I stumbled across some words by author Paulo Coelho that have stuck with me since:
I like to find ways through or round a wall after I hit it. Smiles.
What’s your favourite travel memory?
I’ve been wanting to go to Japan since I was a kid. I was into martial arts too for a long time. A couple of years ago I was lucky to be able to go there with a friend and it was amazing. So rich in contrast, so old and so new at the same time. And the people live very consciously there, despite their hectic lives. Impressive.
What makes you truly happy?
Laughing with my daughter like we can’t stop. Hiking in nature, alone.
What destination is on top of your to do list?
New-Zealand, since its nature has so many different things to offer while it’s a relatively small country. And not because I’m a Lord of the Rings fan – which I am not, I am way too down to earth for that. Laughs. Bhutan, Norway. Add the Azores as well.
Who would like to see next in this seat?
Catherine Dubois, our Marketing Communications Executive. Marketing has gone through some changes lately too, and I’d like to hear Catherine’s take on that.