How I Got Here— Meghan Keough, Expedia Group Media Solutions

Meghan Keough, CRME, is senior director of hotel strategic accounts for Expedia Group Media Solutions and a member of HSMAI’s Marketing Advisory Board:

I went in to a small liberal-arts college in Vermont, about 45 minutes from where I grew up. As I began my freshman year, I entered as a declared biology major, thinking I was going to go the pre-med route. It was during my sophomore year when I had to sit through one painful semester of organic chemistry that I really started to reevaluate, is this the right career path for me? During my junior and senior years, I petitioned to get into some upper-level business classes, and one class included an internship component. There was one Starwood property in Vermont at the time, the Sheraton Hotel in Burlington, that I was able to secure an internship with.

I interned at the Sheraton Burlington my senior year and, interestingly enough, I was looking to get out of the cold Vermont winters and climate, and my internship supervisor had a contact that I was able to secure an interview in Scottsdale, Arizona. I ended up graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology, a minor in religious studies, and a concentration in business. Two days after graduation, I drove out to Scottsdale, where I started my career in sales with Starwood at The Phoenician Resort.

The biggest “aha” moment for me was to not to be afraid to ask the hard questions. I petitioned to get in those upper-level business classes my junior and senior years, and I was told yes, I could, that I didn’t need to take the prerequisites. That mentality has really allowed me to project my career into a variety of different capacities that I may or may not have had the opportunity to pursue.

I was with Starwood in a variety of capacities in sales and business development for about five-and-a-half years before I joined Expedia Group. I have spent the past eight years at Expedia Group, the first four of which I oversaw several of our large gaming partnerships in Nevada as part of our Lodging Partner Services team. The past four years, I was part of the Global Strategic Accounts team, where I managed the team overseeing many of our large global lodging partnerships. Six weeks ago, I joined Expedia Group Media Solutions as the senior director of hotel strategic accounts. Hotel Strategic Accounts is a new team, dedicated to our top lodging partners to provide additional customer service and strategies across all media products with one point of contact for all things marketing within Expedia Group.

How did I go about making the move from the hotel industry to Expedia Group? I leveraged my internal and external networks — starting with a mutual acquaintance and having conversations and asking questions: Tell more about the online travel industry. What do you like about working for Expedia? What are the challenges? It was a much smaller local management group at the time, and expansion was on the horizon. I was able to step in and manage the smaller gaming territories at the time and grow my responsibilities — and my skill sets — over time. I have had some amazing opportunities to learn and grow.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles