Kristy Fennell is a 17 year Flightie veteran with a career progression evolving from retail to corporate. Having left and returned to the FCTG family twice, Kristy knows better than anyone what keeps people coming back…
Kristy started her travel career as a retail novice in 2003 at Flight Centre Cannon Hill in Queensland, before quickly moving through the ranks from FTL to a TL role at FC King George Square. After three years in retail, she heard about a sales BDM role going in Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) and thought it sounded like her perfect role.
Having secured the BDM role with FCBT, Kristy was now entrenched in the corporate arm of the business and before long, with FCBT merging into FCM and Corporate Traveller, Kristy found herself playing with the big players of town and loving it.
Over the ensuing years, Kristy moved from TL to State Sales Leader, Regional Sales Leader and then National Sales Leader of Corporate Traveller.
In late 2020, she returned from a COVID redundancy as the Operations Manager at AVMIN, a brand she argues is “the most exciting brand at FCTG.”
Having built a successful career over the years, it was in 2015 that Kristy found herself in a high pressure environment with lots of travel, late nights and many missed milestones for her little girls growing up.
“I thought if I left FCTG and went to a different company, I would slow down; I could limit my travel, my workload and I wouldn’t be so stressed”.
“Instead, what I found out is that the grass is definitely not greener. I quickly worked out I was responsible for the work environment I created; I was reacting to my challenges. What I should have done was talk to my peers, my leaders, my family and proactively work on my work/life balance. ” Kristy reflects.
The short time away from FCTG helped Kristy work out what it really is that drives her and what she looks for in a company as an employer. She came back to a role at Campus Travel in 2016, which turned out to be one of her most rewarding career development opportunities.
“I learnt that the culture, the learning and development platforms, the fast pace working environment and the constant change is why FCTG is so successful and why I love it. I thrive in this environment and I lost my Flightie spark when I left”
So, after 17 years and with a couple of service breaks over the years, Kristy says it all comes down to culture.
“A happy team equals happy customers and that equals a happy P&L. Culture is key. I knew this in 2006 when I started and I absolutely remembered it when I left!
“I’m not sure there is another company out there that has the magnificent culture we have here at Flight Centre that allows you to make mistakes, learn from them, grow and push you out of your comfort zone.”
Hand in hand with our unique culture, Kristy finishes by saying it’s the feeling of validation and respect she has always experienced with her leaders that has helped her shape a successful career that continues to grow and flourish.
“I always have, and continue to feel listened to and respected by my leaders. My career pathway and success has always been from my leaders challenging me, constantly! I have been so very privileged to work alongside some of the best of the best in FCTG – JK, Cath Cole, Rachel O’Brien, Mel Elf, Billy McDonough, Danni Galloway, Astrid Richardson, Sara Williams and most recently Paul O’Brien. All of these people have made a huge impact on me both professionally and personally! I just hoped I have made the same impact on others.
“I have worked so very hard to share the culture I love so much with all the people I have worked with.” she reflects.