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Mentoring Program

If you want to be a full-time Luxury Travel Advisor but have no prior experience in the travel industry, the Brownell Mentoring Program is for you. This innovative one-year structured program is designed to bring entrepreneurial business people into the travel business. Mentoring participants spend a full year working directly with a team of professionals who specialize in a variety of areas: sales, customer service, marketing, product knowledge, vendor relations, Virtuoso products and services, managing daily work flow, professional development and continuing education, best accounting practices, and much more.

Why Choose Brownell?

Why Choose Brownell?

There has been a lot of buzz about the resurgence of travel advisors. But beyond questions about how to plan a trip with a travel advisor, more and more people with no background in the travel industry are asking “How do you become a travel advisor?” There are many different training programs within the industry, but Brownell's Mentoring Program is still the gold standard it the industry. Winner of the Virtuoso award for Outsdanding Mentoring & Talent Development our training program is for people who want to become luxury travel advisors. The first of its kind, this is a year-long intensive program that gives you all the tools and training to be a successful travel advisor.

How to Become a Travel Advisor

You’re thinking about applying for the Brownell Mentoring Program, but is it right for you? Before you make a big career change, read these points to see if it will be a good fit.

  • You are ready to transition from your current job to work full-time as a luxury travel advisor – this is not a part-time job.
  • You have the financial resources to be self-supporting for a year or more as you build a new business.
  • You have no prior experience working as an advisor in the travel industry.
  • You have written or are in the process of writing a business plan for your new business.
  • You are well traveled and passionate about learning about the world.
  • You are the go-to person for travel advice for your friends and family.
  • You understand how running a business works and that you’ll spend the majority of your time at a computer (and not on a plane).
  • You are a self-starter that is highly motivated and organized.
  • You have a large network of potential clients.
  • You know the value of a travel advisor and can confidently communicate that to clients.
  • You enjoy building relationships and getting to know people.
  • You are dedicated to continuing your education and developing your skills.
  • You like working within an information-sharing community that supports each other.
  • You embrace new trends in technology, marketing, and social media.
  • You share Brownell’s core values of passion, integrity, excellence, graciousness, and innovation.

During your year of thorough training you learn our tried and true processes and methods for a successful business. Training includes:

Sales best practices
Preferred supplier trainings
ClientBase database training
Marketing and social media
Virtuoso services
Professional development
Accounting tips
Sabre air and hotel training
GDS training

How it works

Inquire about the Mentoring Program.

Upon acceptance, head to the Brownell HQ office in Birmingham for a 5-day intensive training session.

Create and maintain a website and a travel blog.

Participate in monthly conference calls, trainings, and certifications.

Complete homework and assignments.

Graduate armed with extensive training and knowledge about the travel industry.

Independent Travel Advisor Jessica White discusses becoming a travel advisor

FAQS
FAQS
What exactly IS a mentoring program?

Think of it as a travel advisor degree from the very best Ivy League school. The Brownell Mentoring program is year-long training program with a celebrated history of developing successful travel entrepreneurs. The program gives you the education, resources, strategies, and business development tools to launch your own luxury travel agency.

What is the difference between the Hosting Program and Mentoring Program?

If you are currently working full-time as a successful professional travel advisor and have an active client base with an annual volume of leisure sales between $300-$500k, check out our Hosting Program. If you are passionate about travel, ready to build a new career and a new business on a full-time basis as a self-employed entrepreneur, check out the Mentoring Program.

What happens after I graduate from the mentoring program?

Assuming you meet all of the graduation requirements, you automatically continue under the Brownell Hosting Program, but with higher earnings and lower expenses.

How quickly do I begin selling?

You begin selling as soon as you complete the initial training sessions in Birmingham.

Will I be paid while I am in the mentoring program?

Participants in our mentoring program (mentees) are independent contractors who are self-employed and “hosted” by Brownell vs being employed by Brownell. Just as with any start-up business, you will be investing in a new career and while you will earn money by selling travel in your first year, you should have the financial stability to be self-supporting while your focus will be on investing in the development of your new company.

Can I join the mentoring program while working full- or part-time?

No. Launching a new business is a full-time job, and then some. We know from experience that part-time travel advisors have more gray hair, a higher-rate of hypertension, and are less profitable than full-time advisors. Ok, we haven’t proven that yet, but the anecdotal evidence sure does look that way!

Do you have reviews from graduates of the Brownell Mentoring Program?

Absolutely. Our past graduates are our very best promotional tool for the mentoring program.

What does it cost to join the Mentoring Program?

You will have start-up costs and various business expenses, plus some travel and marketing expenses. We tell mentees to expect to break even in their mentee year, but many exceed their sales goals and earn a bit of money in their first year.

Will I be matched with an individual mentor?

No, you will not have a single mentor…you will have a team of mentors who are deeply invested and passionate about helping you be successful. During your mentoring year, you will have direct access to world-class most business development, sales, operations, technology and marketing teams. You will also learn best practices and sales strategies from top travel executives from hotels, cruise lines, tour operators and ground-service providers across the globe.

How many times per year do you offer training through the Mentoring Program?

We offer two classes each year: one in the winter, generally Feb, and one in the summer, generally July.

What is the application process for the Mentoring Program and how many mentees are accepted for each class?

People who are interested in learning more about the Mentoring Program first must fill out the questionnaire, and then someone from our team will be in touch. If we think the person could be a good fit for the Mentoring Program, we will invite them to apply (typically about three months prior to the start of each class). Once a candidate is accepted, the pre-training work begins. We accept up to five people for each Mentoring Class.