Written By: Andy Ogg, CTIE, Editor and Marketing Director – Travel Professional NEWS®
At 35 years old, I didn’t think I’d be taking any more tests. I thought the days of studying and homework were a thing of the past. That is until I learned of the CTIE (Certified Travel Industry Executive) accreditation from The Travel Institute.
With some discussions and an opportunity to better my knowledge, I was excited to begin my CTIE course in March of 2019. Being new to the The Travel Institutes programs, I was unsure of what to expect at the get go but was surprised, very surprised.
As many of you may know, I am actually visually impaired with about 10% of my vision remaining. This is of a result to a genetic disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa. Due to my failing vision, my retinal specialist has recommended that I limit my computer time to a mere 6 hours a day. As a father, husband and business owner, retaining my vision for as long as possible is the goal but unfortunately, long days turn into long nights often in my work.
Before beginning my training, I inquired of the time constraints, ensuring that I would have time to finish the program without putting too much fatigue on these old eyes. Thankfully, for the CTIE accreditation, they allow 12 months to complete the trainings and submit your final work for their review. With that very open kind of timeframe, I was in and excited to get started.
The Travel Institutes team made the sign up and process a breeze by providing the information needed quickly and efficiently. Once I was signed in to their impressive platform, I was greeted with my courses, all of which were broken down into different areas of training and focus. The courses were segmented into easy to watch videos ranging from 3 – 15 minutes in length.
Once I got started, I was hooked.
The videos used in the training platform are not only informational but offer examples, fantastic descriptions and animations to keep the excitement alive as the trainings progress.
After each course, you are presented a quiz to ensure that what was shared was actually understood. I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t have to take a couple of them twice because I most certainly did, however for the majority of the sections and videos, the quiz was a great fit to the important and relevant content that was being shared in the video itself. In very few instances did I find information that wasn’t useful for our business, or really any business in general. Topics that were covered in the CTIE training are:
Becoming an Excellent Leader
A great look into the qualities, personalities and skills that it takes to not be a boss but a true leader, working with your team toward a common goal.
It’s hard to be a coach when you don’t know how to coach. This section really dived into the different styles of coaching and how to modify your coaching style to best fit your employees to maximize their success.
Coping with Change
Change is a the only true constant we have and this part of the educational series did a fantastic job of learning how to address it, present it, deal with it and move on with it. Great information!
I thought this was an interesting topic to be included but after getting started, the interesting parts of creativity and logic were discussed. For a very logical thinker, as I am, the tips to inspire creativity were not only useful, but needed.
DISC Leading Styles
The DISC leading styles was a great look into not only your own personality, but the personalities of the people you work with. From good fits to how to make communication easier with a different style, this was a great section to not only learn more about your employees, but yourself as well.
Empathy is a skill, not a trait we all hold. In this section, some great information was shared on how to empower empathy in the relationships with co-workers, as well as the massive benefits that a true emotional connection can provide.
One of the fundamentals of business is negotiation and this was a great educational series on the basics, best practices and goals of any negotiating. In addition to the methods, this course also provided insights into the different outcomes of a negotiation and what ones goals should be before beginning.
While we tend to think as all leadership as “strategic,” there is a clear difference between a leader with a plan and a leader just going with the flow. This was a great section for me personally as continue to grow our business.
The power of many far surpasses the power of one and in this course, the information provided shared the power of teams and provided help into building the right team for the project or task at hand.
The power of adaptation is a skill that many, including me, stuggle with. This was a great education into skills that will undoubtedly be utilized in my future.
With each portion, there were multiple sections that not only clarified but provided insights past the definition of the particular topic. Each and every section were in depth and information across the board.
Diane Petras, CTIE and President of The Travel Institute shared “All of our certification course are designed to build confidence and credibility for graduates in all career stages. With CTIE specifically, the focus in on leadership and developing the skills that give you a deeper understanding of yourself, so that you use can connect with others in a meaningful and positive way. By definition, a leader does not follow the crowd, so the role is critical in both business and family. When others are saying it can’t be done or feel overwhelmed by obstacles, it is the leader that must find a way, offer guidance, or uncover solutions. If you take your focus off of business for a minute, you’ll realize you’ve been asked to do this in other aspects of your life, especially if you are a parent. Everyone should learn how to become someone that inspires and understands how to get the best out of those around them. The role is critical, and CTIE is designed to help you discover and hone these skills and then put them to use every day.”
The Big Day
After about 3 months since the start of my CTIE course, I had finished my training courses and was now to the “final” exam portion. It’s been about 10 years since my last “final” in college and to be honest, I was actually a bit nervous for the entire experience.
The “final” was done online with a proctor. The exam is essay based and allows an ample 3 hours to complete the questions. In about 2 hours, I had finished my answers to the fantastic questions, all of which were industry based, and I pushed the finish button with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.
While the exam is one of the last things needed to complete the course, The Travel Institute also requests a white paper example of how the lessons learned can be used, implemented or utilized in one’s business. In addition to that option, they also allow for published articles, which also share ideas from the courses, to be submitted.
With the exam and white paper completed, my submissions were complete. The wait was not long and the very communicate team at The Travel Institute quickly reached out with the fantastic news that my work had been submitted, reviewed and approved.
I was officially Andy Ogg, CTIE.
While it does boast my image, this is one of the first accreditations that I’ve ever received and I’ll be honest, it’s a great feeling. Growing your education and knowledge is a powerful thing and often, we forget the power it can provide. Upon completion, I proudly added a CTIE to my email signature and shared the success on social media. I was not asked to share the completion with intent of praise or pride but more with accomplishment.
The Travel Institute not only impressed me through the experience but motivated me to once again further my education and knowledge. The entire experience from start to finish was superb and I highly recommend anyone reading this to take a look at your business and find a way to better your education to better your business.
While I have only completed the CTIE course, The Travel Institute also offers a CTA (Certified Travel Associate), CTC (Certified Travel Consultant) and the CTIE (Certified Travel Industry Executive) accreditations.
Certified Travel Associate
The new curriculum was written by subject matter experts and covers 15 critical areas of study designed to teach you how to be the very best travel professional. The learning experience is in-depth, thought-provoking, and delivered in a variety of blended learning formats. The new CTA program is a practical, real-life approach to your on-the-job success.
Certified Travel Counselor
The learning toolbox that makes up the Certified Travel Counselor (CTC) program prepares you to face the new demands of today’s travel managers. Each of the online course topics builds upon each other – and you will see how the courses create a complete management preparation program.
Certified Travel industry Executive
The Certified Travel Industry Executive (CTIE) program is designed with the in-demand skills needed in today’s leaders. It is more than just “being in charge.” A leader needs to be sure that they are focused on goals that are aligned with their company and that they have a team behind them that is focused on achieving those goals as well. Each of the online course topics builds upon each other – and you will see how the courses create a complete leadership preparation program.
If you are looking to grow your education, knowledge and business, I suggest looking into the course that fits your goals and business best. The experience, education and accomplishment is well worth the investment and will not only boost your confidence, but your business as well.