Corporate Travel Supervisor: Lisa Burton, Jack Henry & Associates, Monett, Missouri

Below is the results of an interview between Autumn Craft, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Lisa Burton, a Corporate Travel Supervisor for Jack Henry & Associates. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2001.

 

Q. Can you give me a description of your job and what you do? A. I am the travel supervisor. I oversee all of the travel arrangements for our employees. This includes flight information, car rentals, and hotel booking. I make sure that each employee knows exactly where to go when they get to their destination. I’m also responsible for different etiquette in different cities or countries. I have to make sure that our employees are comfortable in their surroundings. I’m also responsible for the planning and development of our nation-wide conferences. We line up the place, flight information, hotels, all the stuff that has to be planned for a conference. We’ve done two conferences this year.

Q. Do you actually attend the conferences? I don’t actually attend the conferences. We have another girl that attends and makes sure everything runs smoothly….like everyone has something to drink and everything is in place, that kind of stuff.

Q. What is a typical day like? I attend a lot of meetings! I have to meet with my supervisor to let him know what’s going on. I have to meet with my staff to get feedback from them. Everyday is usually different for me. I talk to a lot of different vendors to schedule things. We plan about 40 to 50 trips per week. I also deal with the plane maintenance since we do have our own planes. I have to keep track of when each plane needs maintenance or repair.

Q. Are there very many people in your field? Around here there aren’t very many corporate travel departments. In the big cities with bigger companies, there are. Leggett-Platt has a big travel department and Prime Trucking but other than that there aren’t too many unless you just want to do commercial travel.

Q. How many people are you in charge of? Right now-14. Our department has grown from 4 people to 14 people just in the last four years. We’ve just gotten so busy that we’ve had to expand.

Q. What are the different salary ranges for a position like yours? Probably $20,000-$35,000.

Q. How did you get interested in this career and what kind of education have you had? I was always interested in travel so first I went to a travel school in Florida. After that I started working in a travel agency. My experience in the travel agency helped me a lot but commercial travel is much different than corporate travel.

Q. Did you always want to work at Jack Henry? I always knew about Jack Henry. At the time when I worked for the travel agency they didn’t really have anything for me. They used my agency for all of their travel plans though, so I was already affiliated with them. Then they decided to go on their own and create a separate department. At first there were just a few of us, but now we’ve expanded a lot because there’s just too much to do.

Q. Have there been any major changes in the past decade or so that have affected your job? Well obviously the use of computers and the Internet have made things a lot easier. We also are connected to the Sabre System which is direct access to airline reservations and other things. This has helped us tremendously. We also constantly upgrade our software. Anther thing is that we go through a bigger travel agency now for extra help.

Q. What are some pros and cons of your job? There aren’t that many things that I don’t like about my job. Sometimes managing people can be a challenge, just dealing with all of the little problems. It’s kind of stressful at times. I also have to deal with the angry people. Sometimes they get mad about their flight or hotel arrangements and I have to deal with those problems, but for the most part they’re pretty happy. The things I like about my job….. it’s a challenge. There is something new everyday. It’s not monotonous at all. Also many of my staff have come in and just started from scratch and worked their way up. It’s been a thrill to see them learn and expand on their knowledge. Another thing I do is send out monthly travel surveys to see how the associates liked their travel plans and it?s always exciting to get positive remarks back on those. Basically I like everything about my job.

Well I think that is about all. Thank-you for your time, Ms. Burton.