Thursday, 10 July 2014

Placements boost student's career hopes

Our students are encouraged to gain as much work experience as they can to boost their future job prospects.

Asia Connor has taken this advice on board by adding an eight week internship with Miki Travel, London, to previous experience gained within the industry. She has kindly provided feedback about her latest role.

"Miki Travel is one of the largest and most experienced wholesale tour operators in Europe. Offering leisure groups and individual traveller's hotels, sightseeing tours, excursions and transfers across the world. The company has offices all over the world; the London office has about 200 employees with nationalities from across the globe.

"Throughout university I've always known it was important to gain relevant industry experience and I've been fortunate enough to work for a national chain hotel, MacDonald Hotels, as well as volunteer one day a week with a sustainable tourism organisation.

"I had mixed feelings before starting at Miki, including nerves, apprehension and excitement. On my first day everyone was really welcoming and friendly which made it easier. I knew my role would be as a travel consultant, but I didn't know much about what this would involve.

"I'm working in the Sales FIT (Foreign Individual Travellers) department. Miki don't communicate directly with customers at all; they deal with agents who are tour operators from countries all over the world. The department deals with queries regarding hotels including bookings, cancellations, room requirements and visas.

"In my first week I've learnt how to use the internal systems and I can input visa support details, hotel requests and chase bookings. Most of the work is via email and occasionally on the phone and requires a lot of communication with the Hotel FIT department who are responsible for corresponding with the hotels.

"The office is located right on the River Thames. I'm staying with my grandparents and it takes me about 40 minutes to commute to and from their house, so it's a long day. Having regularly visited them throughout my life I'm reasonably familiar with the city and the tube system. I only work Monday-Friday which means I can explore the city at the weekend. I have a lot of family and friends coming to visit me which also makes for nice company.

"Ultimately I hope the different types of experience I've gained will compliment my tourism degree and put me in good stead to find a graduate job in the industry."

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