Two Travel & Cabin Crew students from Solihull College & University Centre are joining British Airways and are set to take their first flight this September.
Francesca Barker, 19 from Smethwick, and Georgia-Dee Clifton, 18 from Warwickshire, travel a fair distance to get to the College. Francesca comments: “Solihull is one of the only colleges that offer this specific course [Cabin Crew & Airport Operations] and once I started studying the course, I just fell in love with it. It has taught me so much.”
Originally trained as a gymnast at an elite level with the British squad, Francesca doesn’t necessarily feel that it’s an extreme career change, she says: “I started ballet when I was 18 months old and then became a gymnast at the age of 5. I’ve competed internationally as well as nationally and both individually and as a part of GB team. As a gymnast, you focus on presentation and that’s what cabin crew is all about.”
For Georgia-Dee, this is the career she had dreamed of ever since she was a child, she shares: “I went on a lot of flights when I was younger and loved travelling. On the plane, I would look at the cabin crew and dreamed to be them one day.”
After searching for cabin crew roles with many different airlines, both Georgia-Dee and Francesca applied at British Airways and were both offered an online interview. Georgia-Dee explains: “We revised for the interview together and practiced with each other. We gave one another full support.”
Following the interview, both had a two-week wait: “We were checking our emails every single day, multiple times, let’s just put it that way” says Francesca.
Looking forward to this exciting new chapter in their careers, Georgia-Dee comments: “Everything we’ve been doing at the College is now going to actualise in our dream job. I’m so excited to learn about the different cultures of the world.”
Francesca is equally excited and says: “I’m now going to be paid to travel and do what I love, I look forward most to helping customers and making sure they have a nice experience with us.”
It will be a busy summer of intensive training before they set off for their first flight in September. Reflecting on their time at the College, Georgia-Dee says: “I’ve learnt so much being on this course, how to conduct myself in the interview, what I can expect from our upcoming training and what flying is going to be like. I highly recommend this course and if it wasn’t for our lecturer Gerry, we wouldn’t have got this opportunity. He’s the best.”
Francesca adds: “This course has given us a really good insight of what the job will be like and the support from our lecturers has been excellent.”