Joy in the Journey and Destination
PROVO, Utah – Dec 06, 2022 – As a student at the BYU Marriott School of Business in the then-fledgling experience design management program (ExDM), Breck Laing broadened his career opportunities by developing transferable business skills. Now with his job at Destinations, a travel company that specializes in corporate retreats, the 2013 alum expands other people’s worlds and opportunities.
Laing’s journey to studying event management at BYU Marriott was not a straightforward path. “I grew up in Orem in a BYU-centric ward,” Laing explains. “All of the guys my age were BYU-bound, and I wanted something different.”
However, Laing shares that after constant urging from his mom to consider attending BYU, he sent in an application with an off-the-cuff essay he had already written for a school assignment. To his shock, Laing was accepted. After receiving his acceptance letter, Laing prayed and felt inspired to stay. “Classic, right?” he jokes.
Laing thought he would go into the medical field after BYU. But when he took a premed class known for being a “filter course,” Laing found himself filtered out and without a plan. From there, he took several career classes and became interested in event planning. Later, when he attended a major fair, he stumbled on recreation management.
When Laing first started with the program, the recreation management major, which became the ExDM program in 2009, had just begun to incorporate event planning into its curriculum. As a result, Laing consulted on the course material as a student, and as an alum, he continues consulting as a member of the ExDM advisory board.
During his education, Laing constantly asked himself, “How can I develop the most transferable skills possible?” In an effort to answer this question, he took business courses outside his major and minored in business management. “The more you nail those basic business functions, the better prepared you will be for the workforce,” Laing advises.
“Whether it’s finances or human resources, ExDM majors look through a different lens,” Laing continues. “We regularly ask ourselves, ‘How can I improve the experience or design of this particular event or thing?’”
While he was at BYU Marriott, Laing took advantage of any leadership opportunities he found. He was the first president of the ExDM club, which led him to run for the BYU Marriott Student Council. As part of the student council, Laing used his education in event management to plan large events for the business school.
Because of his leadership experience, after he graduated Laing received an offer from Amazon for a position in customer service management. “My first job wasn’t even in events, but because my leadership skills could easily transfer over to management, I did okay.” He adds, “I watched a whole lot of how-to-manage YouTube videos.”
In his current position at Destinations, Laing helps the company partner with businesses to take their employees on incentive travel. “We plan all the details, who’s coming, how they’re getting there, and what the itinerary is,” he says.
Although Laing started with Destinations in a sales position in 2016, he quickly became the manager of the team. Now Laing is, as he puts it, in charge of “the business of the business.” In 2019 he saw an opening for his specific skills and stepped into his current role as managing director of business and strategy. “I basically take any of the responsibilities I can off the plates of the two cofounders so they can focus on traveling with the clients,” he says.
Laing also travels frequently, enjoying the experiences he plans for clients. He has traveled extensively with his wife and plans on taking their children on their first company trip in the next few months. “Traveling is one of the best ways to make memories and motivate people to do their best,” Laing says.
Destination’s motto is “Memories motivate. Make more.” Throughout Laing’s education and career path, he has focused on doing just that. For him, the joy lies in both the journey and the destination.
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Liesel Allen