“Amazing. Challenging. Rewarding.” This is how the active, vibrant and beautiful Linda Chirwa would describe Amadeus Africa in just three words.
Her current role as Account Manager at Amadeus requires dedication and earnest, but in her free time Linda also knows how to relax. She is an avid Zumba and Salsa dancer and loves baking delicious cakes for her colleagues.
A travel agent by training, Linda started her career as a junior travel consultant in Zimbabwe. Soon however, she realised she wanted to expand her horizons. She decided to study French and Portuguese at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. After she finished her language training, she took the very brave decision to leave her home country and look for career opportunities in South Africa.
“I applied for the position of after-hours helpdesk consultant at Amadeus in Johannesburg, as the post required someone with French and Portuguese language skills to assist the Angolan and Mozambican travel agents,” she says.
The night-time shift was not an easy shift, but Linda thoroughly enjoyed it. “We got some very funny calls,” Linda laughs. She recalls one time she asked a travel agent to press ctrl+shift+4 to make a screenshot of the problem the agent was experiencing. “Where should I press this?” the travel agent asked. “On the keyboard of my computer?”
The call centre is also very rewarding and fulfilling says Linda as it allows you to really help travel agents during their times of need. I remember staying on a call long after my shift had ended to help a travel agent through a difficult re-issue. “The travel agent was in tears and didn’t know what to do anymore. Together, we managed to solve the issue. Staying overtime was a small effort for me, but it made a huge difference in the life of the travel agent. That makes it all worthwhile.”
Although she sometimes misses the call centre, her new role in Sales is just as rewarding, if not more, according to Linda. “I still come in contact with travel agents on a daily basis and can help them with all kinds of issues and problems,” she says.
Linda’s favourite Amadeus products are Amadeus Ticket Changer and Productivity Suite. She explains re-issues used to be such a big pain point for travel agents. With Ticket Changer, these problems are a thing of the past. “This solution allows travel agents to do the most complex re-issues with just one entry into their system. It’s absolutely amazing.”
For the moment, Linda is working towards a degree in marketing. “I feel marketing and sales go hand-in-hand,” she says. “It’s an exciting learning curve for me, and I feel Amadeus is offering me bright career opportunities, allowing me to grow and fulfill my ambitions.”
Linda, who loves to travel, hopes that her career will continue to allow her to travel the world. As account manager, she has travelled across South Africa over the past two years. Her favourite destination however is Paris, as this destination allows her to practice her French skills. One day, she would love to visit a tropical beach still… “Somewhere in Bali, perhaps,” she laughs.