John Mullen, RoomRaccoon’s new account executive in the UK, says he loves working in the travel and hospitality sector – and wants to inspire more young people to join the industry.
Even as a young boy, I knew I wanted to see the world. Growing up in Manchester there used to be a pub called The Runway, right next to the airport, where I used to watch in awe as the planes came in. Apparently, I told my mum at the time I was going to be a pilot when I was older. I had ambitions to travel even then. After studying travel and tourism at college, I started my career selling holidays, creating contract routes for tour operators to sell online. I later worked at Manchester Airport where it all started for me as a kid – my office even backed onto the runway where every morning I could see the A380s coming in to land. My job gave me the chance to travel the world, seeing some of the most spectacular places on the globe. But it was the infrastructure and building systems for hospitality which really sparked my interest.
It is such a fascinating industry and I wish more younger people would get into it. I have been speaking with universities, colleges and schools to try and encourage more people to do it. In the UK, the hospitality industry is often seen as a stop gap. People tend to work in it for a couple of years and then go off to do what they truly want to do. But there are lots of people who started off pot washing, cleaning or as a bellboy who are now general managers of companies around the world.
I have loved working in the hospitality industry, and I want to inspire others to do the same. Systems and sales are my real passion, so RoomRaccoon is a perfect fit for me. Working in tech has allowed me to work for companies based in Catalonia, Prague and now in the Netherlands. That ability to travel, sell and work in technology, it’s like a dream come true. I still get to travel but in a more local environment now. I’m responsible for the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland and get to travel to some truly beautiful places. From a kid from a council estate, I have had the chance to travel the world and I can’t think of anything I’d rather be doing – except maybe captaining Manchester United!