I began my journey with Holiday Extras in 1992, and have enjoyed an amazing trip so far. Gerry, our founder, once said if you cut Anna in half she'd bleed purple - the colour of our brand;) At a recent "meet the team" lunch one of the new starters asked me why have you stayed here so long - simple; the people and the opportunities.
I became Product Director in January 2018, after 3 years as Associate Director of Product & UX. My career here has been varied, with a great grounding in our Commercial team, followed by my time in pretty much all areas of the web team. My passion though is Product, my mind doesn't switch off from it.
Having been with one company for my entire career, it's been crucial to get out of the building in order to further my learning and experience. I have been fortunate to work with many different third parties and partners, and a highlight was being able to co-locate in London with a leading software house where I learned Agile methodologies and subsequently brought that way of working back to Holiday Extras. I love working on anything transformational.
I consider myself lucky to work with such a great bunch of people, there's nothing like the buzz you get from pulling together on a major project.
I must have been destined for a career in travel - with my uni days spent in the wonderful city of Leeds, coming away with a BA in Travel and Tourism. It nearly didn't happen as the manager of my then part-time job was urging me to take up the offer of a graduate management placement with the fashion retailer Miss Selfridge. Looking back, I am glad I declined - the idea of spending my first year in Elephant and Castle put me off!
I am married to Nigel and have twin sons and one older step-son, so I am little outnumbered on the boy-girl front. Home life is how you'd expect it with the boys, two dogs and two cats - full on. If I'm not on a football sideline, or enjoying a cricket match, I can be found walking the dogs, enjoying the outside life (we live in a fabulous village surrounded by excellent hills and fields perfect for hikes), and generally pottering around the house. I love nothing more than a renovation project; mood boards and Pinterest are my favourite past-times and I get a tremendous sense of achievement when looking at before & after pictures.
As a family, we relish our holidays - I am not known for roughing it and I can spend hours obsessing to get the perfect location and accommodation. My own values resonate with the Holiday Extras belief that time is precious, and holiday time is the most precious time of all. One of my most memorable trips was a recent Christmas break spent in New York with the family - I will never forget it, truly magical memories were made.
I'm an inventor of board game based on the London Underground (travel theme again!). It's something I am super proud of - nothing like seeing your own product on the shelves...
The Archers. I'm an addict. In fact I'm a big Radio 4 fan fullstop. There's a nod to this in my personal avatar, which our very talented illustrator, Rick Hatfield, created for me.
To read more about my career in Product and 25 years at Holiday Extras - you can read my blog https://medium.com/@annadivers/25-years-in-product-d941f972eb09