Specialist, Ops (America)

Job Number: R10009405
Brand: National Geographic
Job Type: Administrative, Operations, Sales
Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America
Job Posting Date: September 11, 2019
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OVERVIEW OF THE COMPANY

National Geographic

National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between Disney and the National Geographic Society, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 131 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education.

JOB DESCRIPTION

The National Geographic Expeditions Operations Specialist, Americas, successfully owns, operates and plans on-ground trip logistics for luxury group Land Expeditions (leisure travel programs). The Specialist is responsible for the profitability and operational excellence of the team’s trips as well as the associated finances which includes owning the budgets, reconciliations, and program re-costing. Specialist will also be responsible for managing a Coordinator assigned to help with itinerary departures.

Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate with local in-country operators regarding all bookings, logistics coordination, extra arrangements, special considerations, trip details, etc.  Independently manage bookings for all trip departures by monitoring room counts, release dates, attrition clauses and deposit and payment dates for each trip. Communicate clearly and accurately all trip logistics and needs via email, video conference, and phone. Conduct briefing calls with operators and hold them accountable for implementation of on-the-ground logistics. Request, negotiate and finalize next-season operational agreements with each operator. Maintain strict adherence to internal and program deadlines. Ensuring each departure meets or exceeds brand standards.  
  • Request invoices for new bookings, extra arrangements and trip cancellations.  Review and approve invoices for operational and financial accuracy. Request payments to suppliers, vendors, contractors, etc. Reconcile trip invoices and all tour staff salary payments to budget. Perform final trip budget reconciliations. Manage budgets, keeping them updated and accurately reflecting program costs. Request, negotiate and finalize next-season costing for repeat departures series. Responsible for group series profitability. Maximize profitability by operating at or above budgeted projected profit.
  • Create standard templates for documentation including documentation for mailings, internal documents, tour manager documents, policies and procedures.  Review documentation annually, suggest improvements and ensure consistency in formatting. Prepare all documents and items necessary for trip staff (e.g., tour managers and study leaders), as well as tour logistic notes, transfer and rooming lists, flight manifests, extra arrangement details and traveler preferences. Prepare and collate mailings as needed. Create and/or maintain all sales resources for all product. Travelers receive correct trip information on schedule. In-country operators receive all information on time for successful operation of each departure. Sales and Passenger Service Team has all training materials needed to sell and service travelers.
  • Assist Guest Services in managing traveler relationships from the time of booking through post-trip communication.  Responsible for timely planning and procurement of extra arrangements as requested by travelers. Providing travelers with information in a timely manner, increasing their satisfaction and loyalty to the brand.
  • Assists in staffing after-hours emergency phone on a rotating basis. Provides superior customer service and minimizes corporate liability.
  • Manage and hold accountable Operations Coordinator. Conducts weekly meetings with staff and ensures that they are on task, producing accurate work, meeting deadlines, and working toward goals. Supports and enforces company systems, policies, procedures, and productivity standards.  Manages staff time-off requests to minimize impact on team operations. Well-run team that ensures brand standards are met or exceeded and profit is maximized on assigned itineraries.
  • Perform site inspections of programs during normal operating season. Verify program is operating as planned and branding, quality, and standards are being met. Provide feedback to local operator and staff. Ensure all programs deliver the experience marketed to travelers.

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree (B.A.), plus two years related experience. A background in customer service, event planning, logistics or travel is a plus.
  • Impeccable professional communication skills; foreign language skills a plus. Must be able to communicate complicated information in a clear and simple manner to people around the world for whom English is a second language.
  • Demonstrated ability to anticipate problems, find creative solutions for challenging situation. Strong math skills; ability to create and maintain budgets.
  • Working knowledge of Microsoft Word, Office, Excel, PowerPoint and common Internet browsers and applications. A background using QuickBase or other databases or CRM software is a plus.
  • Highly organized, able to multi-task and manage several programs and/or departures at the same time and across multiple destinations. Unwavering accuracy, excellent and systematic organizational skills and flawless attention to detail are necessary. A positive attitude is essential and a key to success in the position. Enjoy working in a fast-paced professional office environment. Experience traveling overseas is desired. Our travelers are typically well educated and well traveled and the ability to talk about destinations from first-hand experience is important. Experience working with luxury-oriented clients is a plus.

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, gender identity, disability, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will consider for employment qualified applicants with criminal histories consistent with applicable law.

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