Lauren O’Dowd, National Operations Manager at Platinum Travel Corporation in Melbourne, has been named the recipient of Travel Daily’s 2019 TIME Scholarship.

We sat down with Lauren to discuss the opportunity and her expectations as she sets off on her mentoring journey with TIME.

Lauren, do you know who your TIME mentor will be?

Yes, Richard Savva is my TIME mentor.

Richard led a public speaking session with us some years ago, so I already know that his strengths lie in precisely the areas I’m hoping to develop.

Richard Savva (centre) at a 2018 TIME event.

Richard has also had leadership roles in many areas of the travel industry, so his guidance will be invaluable as I move into an Operational role with Platinum—particularly at a time of rapid growth for the business.

What are you hoping to get out of the program?

Having just started in my new role, I’m hoping my sessions with Richard will be about exploring and establishing innovative ways to scale and streamline Platinum’s operations. I’m also hoping to get more comfortable selling myself and my ideas.

Are you nervous? Excited? How do you feel about joining the program?

I’m definitely nervous, especially since I have a feeling Richard is really going to challenge me to make some big professional changes. But at the same time that’s exactly what I signed up for, so I’m excited, too.

How did you first hear about TIME?

I’ve followed the program with interest for years, but my colleague, Dayne Byrne, was recently inducted into the program, and his positive feedback encouraged me to apply for the scholarship. I could see how much he was getting out of it almost immediately!

Did someone encourage you to apply for the Travel Daily TIME scholarship? How did you find out about it?

As I said, my colleague and fellow TIME mentee, Dayne Byrne, indirectly encouraged me, along with Platinum’s Directors, Sarah Szubanski and Andrew Buerckner. I feel very supported by my husband and family, too, as always.

Have you had any informal mentors in your career to date?

Of course: My dad for his work ethic and drive. And plenty of colleagues over the years.

Any formal ones?

No, Richard will be my first ‘proper’ Mentor.

What do you love about working in the travel industry?

I love how quickly we get to build a connection with our clients because of how emotive Travel is. I also LOVE a challenge and the amount of constant change in the travel industry certainly provides this.

We wish Lauren the absolute best as she connects with Richard through the six-months of TIME mentoring, and we look forward to catching up again after her graduation.

We also extend a huge amount of gratitude to Travel Daily for their ongoing and generous support of the TIME Program.

Travel-tourism-hospitality professionals are encouraged to follow TIME on Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up to date with what’s going on inside the travel industry’s premier career accelerator.

For more information about becoming a TIME Mentee, CLICK HERE or email TIME Program Manager, Marie Allom at