News & community - Interview

Eight questions with…Manon Holewijn

Manon Holewijn, aged 27 works at our Tilburg Office in the Netherlands. Manon can be characterized as an enthusiastic and passionate team player. It is a pleasure to have her figure in Raptim’s 8 questions interview series.

“I always want to know why a client wants to travel and where.”

Looking for a new challenge I was approached to join Raptim through a third party. During my job interview I was told about Raptim’s values. It really appealed to me and I knew I had to join the team!

When a traveler needs to leave as soon as possible and all flights are fully booked, but somehow you still manage to help them to a seat. A great feeling for the traveler and for me!

In the end, everything will be okay. :)

Last June my colleague Anne and I visited the Sanborn office. It was very special to be able to meet our other colleagues and share our knowledge and experience with each other. I can’t wait till my next exchange! For my next exchange I would love to visit the Nairobi office.

There is much more to just booking tickets as a travel consultant. I always want to know why a client wants to travel and where. I have a lot of respect for those who travel to dangerous places. Sometimes we have a look at the Twitter accounts of our clients, to follow their travels, so if something happens we can help them immediately.

One of our loyal customers Prof Joep Lange was one of the passengers onboard flight MH17. Following his tragic death, the Joep Lange institute was founded in memory of Joep and his colleague Jacqueline. This way his fight against HIV/AIDS continues. I last watched a documentary which highlighted Joep’s travels. One of the scences which really touched me was the scene in which Joep's car was stopped by a young boy. The famished young boy’s name was Isaac. Isaac suffered of a skin infection due to the HIV medicine he was taking. Both his parents had passed away and he was being raised by his grandfather. With no doctor at the nearest hospitable his medically treatment was not suitable to his condition. Joep financially adopted the young boy and made sure he got the right medication. Thanks to Joep Isaac is now doing well. This story really touched me. It’s so inspiring to see people making a difference.

Our job comes with a lot of challenges and difficult situations. Sometimes you’re changing a last minute ticket for a traveler, meanwhile he or she is running to catch their flight. Can be quite nerve-wracking waiting to find out if they made their flight.

I always show people our corporate video when they ask what I do. After showing them the video I usually don’t have to tell them anything else.