Women in Tech Tampa Bay: Muirelle Montecalvo, CEO of Vacayou
In celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, Embarc Collective is excited to introduce you to Women in Tech Tampa Bay — a content series profiling women who are building at Embarc Collective and how they’ve built their careers.
Meet more women tech founders and investors across the state of Florida here.
Meet Muirelle Montecalvo, CEO of Vacayou.
What pivotal points in your career led to your current role?
After college, I planned to work in the travel industry in the agency world. I took my first job out of college in the hotel industry and quickly discovered that I was good at sales. I have had the opportunity to be part of the sales teams as a top producer at some of the most successful online travel and consumer marketplace startups. Although I have always been entrepreneurial and in 2017 I was in a role at my company that was not really for me. I missed traveling and building relationships and working with national and international accounts. The timing was right and I wanted to get back into the world of travel. The travel industry is a strong relationship business and I was missing being a part of it. The timing was right and I decided to fulfill a lifelong dream and start my own travel company. At the time after seeing some health issues in my family I was learning a lot about wellness and living a healthy lifestyle. I was embracing daily workouts, healthy eating, although I still loved to get away with my friends to the spa or a good wine tasting trip! How could I incorporate both! I was looking for a spa getaway for a group of friends to enjoy while we were traveling and I spent hours and weeks trying to find the right one and it was only a small piece of the trip we were planning! It was at that point I realized there was an opportunity to combine both so why not build a wellness and active travel company! Vacayou was born!
What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?
Be yourself, be heard, voice your opinion, trust your intuition and don’t be afraid to seek external advice. Believe in yourself and your abilities and stand Up for what you believe in and don’t let people hold you back.
What communities, networks, or resources have helped you build in your career?
I was very fortunate to work with a company in my 20’s that had an amazing culture and some really great people. This network of people have remained constant in my career moves and decisions. Almost like a family! I had an amazing female mentor who ran the division of a team I was on early in my career. She gave me some amazing advice that I still use today. “Surround yourself with the best and you will be the best”.
The other resource that changed the landscape for me was LinkedIn and being able to build connections very quickly with people that may have been less reachable before.
What is one piece of tactical advice that you would give to another woman considering your career path?
Place passion and joy at the center of what you are doing. Don’t get anxious about what other people perceive of your abilities. Concentrate your energy on the joy you get from your work, your clients, and your team. Be yourself and confident in your abilities, don’t question yourself and let self-doubt get in the way of your decisions. Your passion will come through
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