Amadeus Project and Product Manager Marisa van der Linde thrives on finding solutions and creating order from chaos.
Both in her professional and personal life, Marisa shows incredible determination and dedication. To date, this inspirational woman has completed 6 Ironman 70.3 races (including 2 World Championship events) and 1 full-distance Ironman event.
Taking a little break from triathlon, she is having a lot of fun on her mountain bike. Not one to shy away from a challenge, she will be joining a group of cyclists in March next year when they will ride from Sun City to Cape Town for Charity, finishing off with the Cape Town Cycle Challenge. They will be riding around 1700kms over 8 days and hope to raise funds for charities in each town that they stay over.
When we asked her what she learned from these remarkable achievements, Marisa told us the main lesson she has taken away is that it doesn’t help to panic. “Panicking will not get you anywhere. This is important to remember in every-day life. Rather stay calm and see what you can do. There is always an answer somewhere, the key is to figure out how to get to the answer.”
Super Power – Non-Air Products
Started at Amadeus – 2008
Hobbies – Cycling (Road & Mountain Bike)
Marisa’s attitude has been a great asset in her role as Project Manager and her role as non-Air Product Manager. “It’s a diverse role,” she explains, adding that the flexibility of her job keeps her on her toes at all times. “I thrive on the more intellectually complicated challenges. I love creating order from chaos.”
The biggest opportunity for Marisa in her role is to be able to implement solutions from scratch in the South African market, for example, Content Store (a hotel content solution). “I would describe working at Amadeus as ‘challenging’,” she laughs. “There is always something new. The travel industry is dynamic and keeps changing. If you don’t change ahead of the industry, you get left behind the curve. This is something Amadeus does very well, spending a substantial amount on R&D globally.”
Marisa is used to dealing with curve balls in her professional life, but she was taken by surprise by a bizarre situation when she travelled back from the US last year:
“I was about to board the plane from Washington DC to Johannesburg when a customs official approached me and asked whether I was willing to assist in the training process of one of the dogs. He told me to carry a trolley bag to the plane and see whether the dog would identify the bag as suspicious. Of course I was very reluctant and after some debate (and eventually giggles from the officials), I agreed. It was the strangest sensation to feel a small tap on the bag while I walked to the plane. The dog handler stopped me and asked whether the bag was mine. I just managed to look very guilty and told him it wasn’t. He recognised the tag on the bag and quickly realised what was going on. Unfortunately, the dog – a puppy – didn’t want to let me go, so he had to distract it with its play-stick,” Marisa laughs.