7 women, 7 questions

eDreams ODIGEO
Mar 11 · 16 min read

In the spirit of this week’s theme around International Women’s Day we have sat down and interviewed a few of our many inspiring power-women in house, to tell us a bit more about themselves, their journeys, their careers and their aspirations.

Read on to get to know them a bit better: Andrea Lorenzo, Lead Engineer; Agathe Idrac, Director of Revenue Management and Experiments & Insights; Sandra Lorenzo, Premium Communications Manager; Carolina Sabolla, Revenue Manager; Lorena Bernárdez, Monitoring Manager; Gaby Valdés, Data Scientist and Miriam Olmos, Finance Director.

Andrea Lorenzo, Lead Engineer

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
I am a Systems Engineer from Venezuela and once I started working I focused on software quality and development processes (QA) until almost the last 3 years that eDO gave me the opportunity to develop and become a Lead Engineer.

2. Would you please walk me through your work and what you are doing now?
At this moment I am Lead Engineer of a team with different backgrounds, my role is to be a facilitator on the projects’ side as well as of each of the team members’ growth within the company. At the same time I continue focusing on software quality, playing a more guiding role for developers in terms of testing and analysis.

3. What part of your job do you like the most?
Help developers give their best and make them feel that their work is very valuable for the business.

4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
My experience is based on questioning, analyzing and proving that everything works as expected. I apply the same to any process, plan or movement that we do as a team, from internal processes to business projects and I think it helps us to have a broader vision of the problems and have more control to be able to decide on the solution.

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
My biggest challenge came with the change from QA to Lead Engineer without having a strong technical background as the rest of my team. It has been quite a challenge but finally with their support, fully trusting in the team and always clarifying expectations, I have been able to carry it out.

6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Do not worry about things that you cannot change or that are not under your control.”

7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
It is an industry that is part of the life of any person and that is why it must evolve to adapt to the present. New ways of travelling and new innovations are coming for that.

Agathe Idrac, Director of Revenue Management and Experiments & Insights

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
I joined the company in 2012 in the Finance department as a group controlling analyst. I was coming from consulting (financial due diligence) with experience in a variety of industries (fashion, industry, healthcare, etc.) but not in e-commerce. Obviously the ways of working I was exposed to before joining eDreams ODIGEO were highly hierarchical and with very little space for innovation. Therefore joining eDO and discovering the culture of one of the top European e-commerce companies and the first European online travel agency was something that I was really enthusiastic about. The first months were basically “honeymoon-esque” as I was discovering an entire new way of working.

2. Would you please walk me through your work and what you are doing now?
Now I am leading 2 teams: the Revenue Management team as well as the Experiments and Insights team. So whatever has a relationship to either Pricing or Testing.

3. What part of your job do you like the most?
What I like the most is to be able to participate in shaping the future of the company by collaborating with the teams and my colleagues (Data Science, Product, IT, Business etc.) on how to ensure we continue to be the best at what we do. I enjoy all the intellectual & technical challenges that we face on a daily basis and that force us to identify the best solutions and execute on them as a team.

4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
I started my career in Finance, therefore I have a very strong tendency to think about impact and, in particular, impact on profitability. It definitely has a strong influence on all the things that I do. Also, coming from the consultancy field, I can’t help analyzing every piece of data that is shared with me and challenge the decisions / actions related to that data.

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
I knew from the outset that I did not want to spend my entire career in Finance. I started in Finance as I thought understanding well the P&L of a company is already a good start and can lead to many other positions.
Whilst being pregnant with my first child, I wanted to have a change and to be exposed to something different than Finance. During my maternity leave I applied internally to a role, but I was not retained for the role.
I cannot say that it was a big challenge, since my manager and HR business partner were aware and very supportive of my aspiration to move into more business-related roles, so I knew that at some point I would be able to develop outside of Finance.
The change came 1.5 years after, when I was offered to lead the revenue management team.

6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Never give up” AND “The better the relationship with your stakeholder, the greater the impact” — so effort on soft skills is critical.

7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
We all thrive when being away from home, so once we are able to travel again more than ever we will want to escape, to connect with nature or with foreign cultures, and to have the amazing feeling of discovering new experiences and perspectives. The future of travel will probably rely more on leisure than in pre-pandemic times, and we will probably see a more respectful approach to the environment, different cultures, etc.

Sandra Lorenzo, Premium Communications Manager

  1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
    I am from Barcelona, where I was born and raised, but my family comes from Zamora, in Northwest Spain, so every time I can, I go visit them. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Tourism at the University of Barcelona and have taken additional courses related to the travel industry and also to law, which ultimately encouraged me to start a Bachelor’s degree in Law this year. I have worked in the travel industry for over 11 years now, so it goes without saying that my passions include traveling and discovering new cultures. As part of this I enjoy dancing salsa, history (especially the Middle Age and ancient Egypt) and gastronomy. When it comes to food, I’m a sushi and seafood lover! I consider myself to be highly organised, trustworthy and extremely driven, with a clear picture of the goals I want to achieve!
  2. Would you please walk us through your work and what you are doing now?
    I am currently leading the Premium Communications Team. We assist customers with their travel plans, and also listen and learn from them to ensure that the business can continuously improve its products and services.
  3. What part of your job do you like the most?
    I never stop learning, there is always something new and fascinating that makes me never get bored, not even for a second! At this job you feel like you are truly helping customers when sharing their feedback with other teams, allowing everyone to learn from each other which will ultimately improve the customer experience. On top of that, working with a great team makes my work life easy, inspiring and exciting.
  4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
    My background has been crucial since it allows me to better understand our customers needs. As part of my job, I constantly follow up on processes and product updates, which helps me to identify what we can do even better for the benefit of travelers. I am very grateful for my career in this company. I have learnt tremendously throughout my journey at eDreams ODIGEO where I have held different positions since I joined as a Back-Office Agent a few years back, and thanks to this I feel very well-equipped to lead my team successfully. Along the way, I’d say it’s important to focus on what is really valuable to you, to your team and to the company as a whole.
  5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
    Undoubtedly, the whole COVID-19 pandemic has been very challenging for everyone.
    During this period, my focus has been to ensure that despite remote work, we continued to work as a highly motivated team, supporting each other. We have also found new collaboration opportunities between business areas that allowed us to share knowledge, experiences and learnings to continue improving everyday.
  6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
    When I started to take on more responsibility, I was introduced to the Eisenhower matrix by one of my colleagues. This helped me a lot because when working in a fast-paced environment, you really need to become a pro at prioritising!
  7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
    I believe that the best days for our industry are ahead of us! I am confident that the travel industry will continue to evolve and become increasingly universal while at the same time more sustainable and of high quality. No matter who I talk to around me, everyone is already planning amazing trips and counting the days for their next adventure when lockdown is over. I can’t imagine a world without travel, we all want to live unique experiences and what better way to do this than by traveling!

Carolina Sabolla, Revenue Manager

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
Hi, I’m Carolina, I’m Italian and I am the last of 4 siblings.

2. Would you please walk us through your work and what you are doing now?
After graduating with my Master’s degree in Engineering at Politecnico di Milano, I worked for 3 years in Management Consulting at KPMG in Milan.
In 2018 I moved to Barcelona, where I started my great adventure at eDreams ODIGEO. I joined eDO as senior business analyst and one year later I got promoted to manager in the revenue team, being in charge of designing and implementing pricing strategies for flights.

3. What part of your job do you like the most?
What I love about working at eDreams ODIGEO is the coaching philosophy: managers don’t tell their team what to do, but rather coach them by asking the right questions that can help them face any new problem.

4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
Another thing I like in my job is the fact that any decision we take is always data-driven: as an engineer I find this matches perfectly with the approach I inherited from my academical background.

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I faced in my career progression has been finding myself in a team where my expectations did not meet my manager’s. The manager was seeing me as a mere executor while I was rather looking for a development path. I tried to talk and explain my point of view to see if there could be a solution. Finally, after a period of time, I decided to quit the job and look for a new one.

6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received always came from my dad, who used to repeat to me: “you need to study all your life”. I think you can read this in many different ways, either a reminder to be always up-to-date on best practices and stay “competitive”, or as an invitation to deeply understand any issue you tackle. For me the most interesting way to read it is to keep learning every day, and if you realize you are not learning anymore, try to ask for new challenges… that’s for me the key to enjoy my job and avoid getting bored by the routine.

7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
I guess the travel industry will never be the same after the pandemic: customers are more and more informed and rely on technology much more than they used to do in the past. They are changing and I can’t wait to face the new challenges that will come!

Lorena Bernárdez, Monitoring Manager

  1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
    I’m an IT engineer with a strong interest in how things work and in new technologies. The field is so aligned with everything I loved as a kid: making my own inventions and developments.
    I first became interested in the engine industry because I wanted to work at a motorcycling company and then moved to the security area because it was a very interesting topic for me, and finally I joined eDreams ODIGEO, where I was given the opportunity to grow and improve my skills. Here we have an incredible company culture and amazing people who teach you new things everyday.
  2. Would you please walk us through your work and what you are doing now?
    Technology and creating things are something I have been passionate about since I was a child, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to study IT and science at the university.
    For me, the most attractive thing about technology is incident management and problem solving. Why? because it is a challenge that pushes you to always keep learning new things in order to solve the puzzle.
    I have to admit that in my family I have a lot of female role models like my mother or my sisters. I’m lucky to have a very supportive family, so my inspiration to be as successful and as happy as the women in my family has been my driving force to pursue something I really like.
  3. What part of your job do you like the most?
    At eDreams ODIGEO, I have the opportunity to lead innovative projects with emerging technologies, collaborate with all the development teams and work towards solving complex problems.
    Also, I really value and enjoy the balance I’m holding between management and technology.
  4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
    Technology is intertwined into our everyday lives and the fact it is constantly evolving is fascinating to me and also gives me the opportunity to grow in many different areas. I wanted to be involved in that and contribute in future innovations.
    On the other hand, having knowledge about work methodologies and how to handle problem solving helps my day to day.
  5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
    People sometimes might make assumptions about my technical abilities — this has happened to me many times when I started a new position in a new company. So as a woman in IT you sometimes have to work harder to prove yourself.
  6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
    Make sure you’re passionate about what you’re doing — if you’re not, get out now, or otherwise you will not be motivated enough and you will not truly enjoy what you do.
    Also, learn to say no — my manager repeats this sentence constantly to all of us and it is a simple yet valuable piece of advice.
  7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
    Nobody knows exactly what will happen but I think that we have an exciting opportunity to adapt and innovate, always focusing on the customer safety and providing them the best experience.

Gaby Valdés, Data Scientist

  1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
    I’m Gaby Valdés, I graduated in Computer Science in Venezuela. Once I graduated I worked as a backend developer in a consulting company for 3.5 years and transitioned to a manager position the last year and a half.
    Then I decided to move from Venezuela to Spain to study a Master’s degree in Data Science at UPC University. After I graduated I applied to eDO and joined the Data Science team in November 2017. I started as a Data Scientist in the Fraud team and after a year and a half switched to the Marketing team.
  2. Would you please walk us through your work and what you are doing now?
    Over the last year I’ve been working on polishing my managerial skills to move again towards that direction. I’m now taking the lead of two important projects within Marketing that are LTV (Lifetime Value) and Prime.
    In my daily job I align with stakeholders once a week to come up with a set of priorities, so the team is entirely focused on those, unless there is something urgent that comes up. Every morning, with each team, we have short daily meetings to align among ourselves, and raise possible blockers to advance the projects.
  3. What part of your job do you like the most?
    Since I come from a technical background I really like the balance between assisting and helping my team members with technical issues and at the same time managing relationships and planning with business stakeholders.
  4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
    It has been crucial, having been a data scientist myself has helped me understand the difficulty of tasks requested by business so I can manage business expectations and challenge the team at the same time. Having had some managing experience back in Venezuela has also helped me now at eDO to refresh those skills and also improve them.
  5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
    Deciding to switch from a super technical area being a Data Scientist to a managing position, both times, first in Venezuela and now at eDO. But I have overcome this fear of transition and embraced that I love being a manager because I have the ability to motivate the team, enhancing their strengths and improving upon their weaknesses. And since I come from a technical background I can support the team with technical issues as well, giving me the opportunity to stay connected to the world of DS without exercising the DS role 100% in my day to day.
  6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
    My first manager once told me that whenever I face a problem, I shouldn’t ask for help before I first have a think and come up with a proposal of solutions on my own to solve the problem. This way you make sure you have examined the situation properly, and are proactively solving issues before even checking with your manager. I find this approach to be a great way to solve most things faster and more effectively.
  7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
    I see a successful and constant growth in the future of the travel industry. I think people will always have the desire to travel and meet new places and people. It is the perfect way to balance your life, and have a way of disconnecting from the stress of the day to day tasks and responsibilities. Disconnecting and relaxing is something that people will never give up on.

Miriam Olmos, Finance Director

1. Please tell us a bit about yourself, your early years and where you come from.
I have worked as an auditor for 10 years in small and mid-sized firms. I had the opportunity to see different industries and companies, and in fact I audited some small e-commerce companies, but when I decided to move to eDreams ODIGEO I couldn’t imagine how complex the e-commerce sector is. So far I have learned a lot and I keep developing myself to acquire strong knowledge every day.

2. Would you please walk us through your work and what you are doing now?
I have been working at eDreams ODIGEO for close to 7 years. I started as Finance Country manager and I took care of the accounting and administrative team for eDreams brand. After the finance team restructuring now I’m FSSC (Financial Shared Service Center) Director, and I take care of accounting and administrative matters for eDO.
Now I’m part of the Refunds team — we work hard to ensure that we refund the maximum number of customers in an automatic way to avoid manual interaction. This project is very interesting and challenging.

3. What part of your job do you like the most?
I love my work, I like collaborating with my team members and being in contact with many different areas of business. My work is very dynamic and with plenty of exciting challenges.

4. How do you think that your background and knowledge impacted the way you approach your work?
I have a strong accounting and financial background, which is key for my position.
I can apply everything that I have learned during my years as an auditor given that I was in contact with different types of companies and worker profiles. I have an open mind, positive attitude and strong energy that helps me in order to get new challenges.

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced in your career progression and how did you overcome it?
My work is super challenging on a daily basis, but I think that the most important project was when we migrated the middle and back office, and passed an audit as a team fully on remote. We made it thanks to the commitment and the team spirit of everyone involved!

6. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Receiving advice is probably something rather common in Spain — but I think that it is key to be yourself, be true to yourself and to trust yourself.

7. How do you foresee the future of travel?
I think that we emerge from this period stronger as a company. Many people are changing their buying behavior from offline to online, so we will obtain another portion of the market. Once the vaccine is distributed among a significant part of the population, people will definitely resume their travels.

eDreams ODIGEO Tech

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