Two former successful students of Solihull College & University Centre recently returned as guest speakers to the new class of travel and aviation students studying at Birmingham Airport’s Flight School.
The students Destinee Rowe and Mohammed Omar, both 18, secured work at Birmingham Airport, and were City and Guilds National Diploma travel level 3 students. Finishing at college last year after 2 years, they studied cabin and aviation, followed by travel. The pair trained up to March with aviation services company Swissport and now work as handling agents.
‘We love the aviation industry’ Destinee states, ‘it is so different to your usual 9-5 job, we have a vast variation in our days. Working shifts, we can move from airline to airline, and be involved in both check in & departures’. The variety at the airport is the biggest draw to their roles. Destinee initially wanted to go straight into cabin crew but after further discussion with her tutor Michelle who herself had extensive experience working in an airport, she decided to look at passenger service and gaining a more well-rounded experience. The broader outlook is one Destinee is happy to have ‘I loved the course. Without those tutors, there’s no way we’d be in our jobs today’.
‘Assignments could be tough’ Mohammed adds, ‘but nothing compared to work. The course really gave us the groundwork to enter the industry and be prepared for what we need to deal with’.
Mo and Destinee have been trained on different airline desks, Monarch, Thomas Cook, Wizz Air, Blue Air, and Czech Airlines among them. The main responsibilities include bags and visa checks, and ensuring passengers are boarded correctly at departure gates.
‘Customer service definitely has its good points and bad points’ Mohammed states. His ability to speak three languages, Dutch, Arabic and English has been consistently helpful when dealing with an array of customers.
Both Destinee and Mo enjoy the flexibility and variation on offer and are allowed to sign up to work for different airlines on check in.
Presenting to the current students, Destinee and Mo discussed working at the airport, what they learned from college, and advice on where students could end up in the industry. Working from March to October the pair will soon find out if their employment terms will be extended and both hope to continue with the airport and on to other areas in the future with current hopes on cabin crew next.
The new class of travel & aviation students spent the day at Birmingham Airport learning about working in different areas in the industry. With advice from industry experts including Mandy Haque, Head of Operational Service Delivery the students studied in the Flight School a room overlooking the runways.
To take a look at our courses in travel & aviation visit www.solihull.ac.uk/courses