Interview with Morgana Somers – VP of the 39 Club

Connect, share and learn with Morgana Somers – VP of the 39 Club

The FIDI 39 Club is a place to grow connections, share expertise, and learn leadership skills from industry experts. But how do our young and ambitious members experience it themselves? And how do they see our industry’s future? 

We talked societal trends, global mobility challenges and 39 Club with Morgana Somers, Director of Global Development for Paxton and Vice-President (VP) of the 39 Club Board.

Connect, share and learn with Morgana Somers – VP of the 39 Club

Think global. Act local.

Think global. Act local.

“I went to a European School in the Netherlands, so I speak a little Dutch too.” Morgana Somers embodies the global mindset she observes in the international relocation industry. Morgana studied psychology at Reading University in the UK and quickly started working for Paxton in Washington D.C.

“The main thing I have  learned from moving all over the world? Cultural diversity is a treasure, but you need an open mindset to value it. If you don’t, there’s no place for you in this industry.”

“Especially since there’s a new generation coming that truly thinks global. We needed that shockwave in the international relocation industry, although it does come with some new challenges.”

Maximizing the millennial mindset

One of the largest challenges for the global mobility industry today is talent retention. A new generation of workers who switch jobs quickly has upset the traditional order of things. 

“Why is our business different?” Morgana asks. ”I think it boils down to the complexity of the job. Training can take years due to the required, specialised skillset, and it takes time to build up the experience.”

But as a (future) employer, you’re not on your own.

At least you don’t have to be, says Morgana: “Our training philosophy is based on live seminars and a mentor-buddy program. We frequently discuss training methods at 39 Club events. That’s valuable information, coming from people you know and trust.”

Maximizing the millennial mindset

Technological innovation as a necessity

Knowledge-sharing with like-minded people helps you conquer challenges. Indeed, one of the most popular topics at the 39 Club is the role of technology. Morgana Somers sees it mainly as an opportunity.

“There’s a lot of potential for our industry. A lot of traditional thinking is still limiting our progress. Especially when you compare it to our competition: global logistics companies. Uber, Amazon, UPS,… they’ve recognized the need for faster delivery times and live information. Now it’s up to us.”

What does that mean in real-life? “Take the mobility expert who visits expats to advise them on what to take and what to leave behind. That can be done via FaceTime or other apps. Smartphones are changing people’s expectations. And that doesn’t mean removing the personal touch, it means interacting through different channels.”

Create quality connections of your own

Create quality connections of your own

Supply chain consistency is the solution – we’ve all heard of it, but can we truly achieve it? Not on our own.

“Your personal, international network is the source of your abilities. In order to have a secure and guaranteed supply chain across borders, you need international partners you can trust.” 

“In a service industry, everything revolves around personal relationships. Relationships become partners who become clients – I’ve made connections that have helped me with complex issues on the ground. When you know and trust someone, it’s much easier to do business.”

“You know what’s so special about our industry?” Morgana asks. “You get to meet people from all over the world, all the time. You see a lot of the world, too. Those relationships have become the main reason why I’m still so passionate about my work.”

39 Club as your way in

Investing in the future of your international relocation business has never been more urgent. And that future lies in the next generation, and their leadership skills

“Your talented people need the confidence and the freedom to build their own network. That’s the only way they can develop leadership skills and we can retain top talent.”

“That’s why the 39 Club focuses on leadership. All members get to share and absorb knowledge on management techniques, talent management, and innovative tools.”

“That’s how I got involved too. I’m not an owner, but for me, it was a way to develop my skills and my career at the same time.”

“After a year or two, I had made my connections and I knew I wanted to get more actively involved. So I stood for election. And here I am.”

39 Club as your way in

When work becomes passion

Before Morgana bids farewell, one last question: what do you wish you had known 10 years ago? 

“That the international relocation industry would become such a large part of my personality, that I can’t escape it.” (laughs) “A joke, of course, but there’s truth to it. Once you’re in, all the way, you develop such a passion that you can’t leave. You become part of the family.”