#NoWrongPath: Jacqueline Dobson – President of Barrhead Travel

What age did you leave school?

I left school at 16

What were your thoughts on your career at that time?

I always dreamt of being an air hostess however I was too young to apply. Instead, I decided to work with my dad’s business, recycling plastic, polythene and glass.

What brought you to Barrhead Travel?

I started my career in travel by managing a small, independent travel store where I gained a qualification in Travel and Tourism before joining Barrhead Travel as a luxury sales consultant.

How have you progressed since then?

Shortly after joining Barrhead Travel as a Luxury Sales Consultant and, three months later I was managing the department!

I continued to demonstrate my intuition and leadership skills which paid off as I later went on to launch the longhaul and Cruise department in Barrhead Travel’s new Glasgow Superstore, the largest travel store in Europe! Daunting as this was, I knew this was a pivotal step for career progression and so I excitedly accepted the challenge and went on to manage these departments for five years.

My next step was to Cruise and Long-haul Director which seen me step away from sales and towards the commercial and product side of the business.

In 2007 there was a management buyout which presented me with a new opportunity to become Managing Director of the business.

What a journey, how did you land your role as current president?

In 2018 my colleague and friend, Sharon Munro, stepped down from her role as President of Barrhead Travel and passed me the reins.

Looking back on my journey, I believe my drive and creative thinking went a long way, however I couldn’t have got here without the people surrounding me. I have always had fantastic mentors, and now, a remarkable team of supporters around me and I look forward to continuing the Barrhead Travel journey together!

What has been the highlight of your career?

There have been a few!

A personal highlight for me would have to be the launch of our first BA charter flight. This was a huge milestone in the Barrhead Travel story – everyone was so proud of how far we had come!

The management buy out in 2007 was also a highlight and real turning point in my career which seen myself and some of my colleagues become board members.

Of course, becoming President of the company was a momentous highlight, made even more special by my colleague, mentor and friend who passed me the reins with her blessing and support.

In my short time as Barrhead Travel’s President, I have won two prestigious industry awards. I feel so humbled and honoured to be recognised by my peers in the industry and I am so proud of my team for supporting me as without them we wouldn’t be the success story we are today.

What advice would you give someone based on your experience?

Work hard, stay level-headed and use common sense!