As a young girl from a humble background, I get so excited when people ask me ‘WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BECOME WHEN YOU GROW UP’? with a smile on my face I usually reply I want to study Mass Communication, I really didn’t know what I want to become, I just knew I wanted to go to the University to study Mass Communication,
One day someone asked me….’so after studying Mass Communication, WHAT NEXT and I started babbling, and he said do you want to become a Journalist, A Presenter, An Editor, what exactly do you want to do? I remember going to search career pathways in Journalism and none of them caught my interest .
Years later, I gained admission in to the University and I chose to study Political Science because I love government as a Course and I don’t easily backdown in argument. (Law was not an option for me) ….What a funny soul..Right. To cut the long story short, during my year 3, I was trekking to school on a sunny afternoon because I had no cash on me. I stopped by the Campus gate to rest a while, when I turned to leave, I noticed a poster which had an image of an Aeroplane …. I read through it and was really interested in the content, so I wrote down the number, That day was the first time in my life I became confident of the direction I wanted to take.
The first money sent to me from home, I spent part of it in a cybercafe searching for informative articles about Aviation. It kick-started my journey towards a fulfilling career for me. I later called the school and enrolled in Travel and Tourism foundation course, I graduated from the University a year later and Lucky me, My first job was in a Travel agency specializing in educational and adventurous camps.
So if you are out there, thinking ‘Wow I love Travel and Tourism or Aviation’, What do I do? How do I begin my career in this industry? Here are few tips to get you started right away, and mind you this tips will help you stand out among your peers. So lets get started, Shall we?
TIP 1: FORMAL EDUCATION
Importance of education can not be over stressed, You need to get a formal education at least to Secondary level with a pass in English and Maths, and if you are a degree holder, Great Job, it is especially important for Pilots, Cabin Crew, even some Travel Consultant jobs. You can also enroll in Aviation Schools for a specialized course in your chosen field
TIP 2: IATA (International Air Transport Association)/UFTAA (United Federation of Travel Agents Association)
Try as much as possible to get an IATA/UFTAA certificate in any field you want to pursue in the Travel and Tourism Industry, there are so many certificate courses offered by IATA/UFTAA, some are cheaper, some are not, but they earn you enough credibility in the travel industry, they give you 60% chance of landing a job, and also earn you some connections, you need networking in the Travel Industry to establish yourself. You can visit on IATA website: www.iata.org/training
TIP 3: KNOWLEDGE OF INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE.
Try learning an international language, preferably English, French, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese or Arabic. If you can do well to learn two international languages, that would be an added advantage that most companies won’t overlook, you might possibly get a high pay or benefits. The Aviation industry is a multi-cultural industry with customers form different race, tribes etc
TIP 4: PERSONALITY
I met a senior director of an established Airline who told me Major Airlines give outstanding benefits to their staff who get very high reviews from their Clients. Don’t try to fake it, You can practice everyday to say Please, Thank you, I’m Sorry, Are you Okay, How may I be of help etc. Learn to be courteous, friendly, easily accessible and above all well-disciplined to be able to take control of seemingly frustrating circumstances.
TIP 5: INFORMATION IS POWER
The world is changing on a daily basis, more things are being discovered, Companies are introducing new technologies, more destinations are being found out, the weather and climate are not predictable. you need to read up and be knowledgeable about the world and its environs, Travel industry is not stagnant at all, IATA is changing its rules and policies daily, you need to be on top of your game. Companies, Customers and even your colleagues wants to know how much you know. arm yourself with informative tools.
With all the above you can, kick start your Journey to a successful and fulfilling career in Travel and Tourism.