Colin Busse, ATG’s business relationship manager, wears many hats: military veteran, student, business leader, magazine cover model, to name just a few. Colin was recently featured in The Ohio State University’s Alumni Magazine. We sat down with our resident cover boy to get a little more inside scoop.
How has your military experience affected your approach to assisting your clients?
Every operation we conducted in the army was through an “Op Order” (OPORD) or Operations Order. This is a very detailed plan of every facet of an upcoming operation that every soldier must be familiar. Similar to an operations order, at ATG we create and manage business plans for our clients. The business plan is collaboration between ATG and the client that includes strategic imperatives for the business travel program and lays the framework for the road ahead on the account. Having experienced many operational orders, client business planning was almost second nature to me. Just as in the army, we take our client business planning very seriously.
What has been your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?
Where do I begin? Life as an airborne-infantryman is a completely different culture. From the way we speak and act around each other, to the way we present ourselves professionally. It was difficult to get over that some of my most important experiences, achievements and accomplishments in the army, translate to absolutely nothing in the civilian business world. To overcome this obstacle, I simply started off at the bottom of the totem pole and slowly proved to the team what I have to offer.
What brought you to ATG?
Adventure! I have an adventurous spirit and love to experience new places and meet new people. Each business trip, I try to plan one local experience outside of business. ATG provided the opportunity to experience local culture in Netherlands, Germany, and all over the USA. Some upcoming business trips later this year will be North Carolina, Florida, Oregon and maybe Colorado, if I play my cards right! Although it is not all “travel-glory,” it is still an exciting industry.
What are three life memories you typically recall and why?
- Experiencing combat for the first time. Being ambushed in the Afghan Mountains was a surreal, yet addicting, experience. This is almost a rite of passage for infantrymen. At the time, those that do not experience combat, covet those that do. They say that the human brain will most likely recall the sense of smell more than any other sense. I believe that is true, because I will never forget the smell of a firefight.
- Graduating from The Ohio State University in 2.5 years. I had plenty of people tell me I was never going to graduate from college after I left the army. They said I would drop out of school and reenlist in the Army. Using their negativity as motivation, 2.5 years later, I was walking out of the Horseshoe with a degree noted, Summa Cum Laude.
- Marrying my wife. Well, this event technically has not happened yet, but it will happen shortly! The past 4 years has been an incredible journey with my fiancée Andrea. Life after the army has not always been easy for me. Andrea provides an incredible amount of support for my endeavors while still growing her professional career as a Speech Pathologist. I am honored to soon be a part of her Italian-American family.
What are some of the biggest changes you have seen since you started your career and how has that changed the industry?
Technology. The technology behind the business travel industry is constantly evolving. Just when you think you have seen the most innovative product on the market, a new, mind-blowing product appears next. Most recently, I had the opportunity to view a demonstration of the corporate online booking tool, Amadeus E-Travel Management (AETM). I was very impressed how this tool integrated to mobile devices and how it responded to schedule changes in a work calendar. This is just one of the many technology innovations that exist in our industry. The next couple years should be a very exciting time for suppliers and buyers!