Jill Wimberley

23 Oct 2015
Jill Wimberley

Jill Wimberley’s passion for the travel and tourism industry saw a work placement lead her into her future career. See how UQ Business School helped her achieve her dream job.

Why did you decide to study a Bachelor of International Hotel & Tourism Management?

When I was 18 I went overseas for the first time whilst I was studying social work. By the time I came home to Brisbane I knew that I wanted to be involved in some way in the travel and tourism industry, so it was the obvious choice to study that degree.

Could you please describe your career history and current position?

I started with Brisbane Marketing because of an industry placement in my final semester of university, organised through UQ Business School. I jumped at the chance because working with a regional tourist tourism operator organisation in a capital city doesn’t come up very often, so I knew it was the perfect opportunity to get my foot in the door, meet the right people, and hopefully progress my career.

The internship lasted for six months and following that I was offered a six month short term contract. Half way through the contract it turned into a permanent full time position. The initial position was focussed on business development; the role has now transitioned into membership.

My role has evolved a lot in the last three years. I look after the administration of our Brisbane Marketing members; they are anything from small tourism operators to the bigger national and international operatorsorganisations. I also work with a lot of the accommodation providers in Brisbane, big international hotel chains to small bed and breakfasts. Our membership covers a huge variety of businesses. I also help the event organisers find venues and services for what they need to enhance their events and help our members.

What’s the most challenging part of your career? Any advice on how to land your dream role or work for such a key organisation such as Brisbane Marketing?

Relationship management, finding new ways to engage with the members. A lot of what we do each year is similar because we know that it drives business but is there are other opportunities that we can be giving them to getsecure that business. Their membership is driven by their ROI with us so if we aren’t delivering or not giving them increased opportunities on how to get business then they won’t continue their membership with us. I work in a great team where everyone has a voice so it’s nice to be able to discuss these ideas in an open team environment.

My advice is don’t say no to an opportunity when it presents, if you get the opportunity to go to an event where you might be able to meet someone from that organisation, make time and go, it may seem daunting but you just go and introduce yourself. In Brisbane and Queensland the tourism industry is a lot about who you know. 

UQ Business School’s tagline is “Challenging the future”. For you, what will be the most challenging business topic in the next ten years?

It’s probably been on the agenda for the last 10 years but technology, keeping up with the advancements and utilising the technology that helps you succeed your core goals of your position.

What mentor or inspirational figure has guided or influenced your life in a certain way?

There isn’t one single person but when I started my internship at Brisbane Marketing I came into a team of really successful, strong, intelligent women and I hadn’t been exposed to an environment which was largely female with people achieving such great goals. It was enlightening and motivating that you can be a woman and still achieve great things.

My family have also always been a huge influence on my life; three older brothers have taught me how to be patient, tolerant and accommodating.

What’s your most positive memory of your time at UQ Business School?

My most positive memory is the well-rounded education, at the time doing studying accounting and financial management I didn’t think I would ever need to know the information, but in actual fact you do. It’s not so much about the maths and formulas but you need to understand it the principles and how it impacts upon the entire business. The fundamentals of business and the lecturers along the way did a great job of delivering the information.

Going to the internship was also a very positive memory, when I was a kid I saw a Brisbane Marketing ad and thought it would be really cool I want to work for them. but then forgot about it and wWhen the internship came my way I felt like it was meant to be.