July 15, 2024

Francesca Mendola, Rising Star

Francesca Mendola, Director of Account Management at Global Travel Collection, recalls the 'surreal and out-of-body-experience' moment when she won the Rising Star Award 2023

What does it mean to you to win a 2023 Business Travel People Award? 

It’s a real honour to be recognised for my contributions to business travel and means the world. The travel industry has been incredibly challenging and demanding over the past few years, and my family have always been incredibly supportive to my career — even if they don’t get to see me as much as they’d like. It really shows all the hard work has been worth it. It was a truly memorable evening and a moment I will cherish.

How did you feel when your name was called?

It was a completely surreal and out-of-body-experience… I wasn’t sure I’d heard it correctly. I still don’t think it’s totally sunk in yet!

What was the reaction of your family, friends and colleagues when you won the award?

Everyone was absolutely thrilled. I felt so lucky to have my team and clients with me at that moment, as they have been a huge support to me. I couldn’t have won the award without the teamwork of my family, colleagues, mentors and suppliers. My UK boss, Jason, and US boss, Lisa, have both provided me with valuable mentorship over the years. The messages of congratulations from suppliers and colleagues in the past 24 hours has been completely overwhelming.

How do you think winning the award will impact your role and profile within your business and the wider industry?

I hope it will drive and inspire others to share their achievements, enable me to make an even greater impact in my role and shine more of a light on Global Travel Collection and how we contribute to the travel industry. This has also given me the confidence to nominate myself and team for future awards and put myself out there more often, such as participating in industry panels.

What advice would you give to anyone considering entering the awards in 2024?

Be in it to win it! Don’t be afraid to put your accomplishments out there. It’s always difficult to talk out loud about your achievements — you may think they’re not relevant to this award, but you have nothing to lose! It’s also a great awards ceremony to be part of, with so many people in the business travel industry getting together each year.

Where will you be keeping your award?

It takes price of place in my office at our London HQ. It’s a great daily reminder of where I’ve been and where I’m going. Hopefully, it’s the start of more to come!

Entries are now open for the 2024 Business Travel People Awards