The industry I’d work in was never in doubt. I took a first degree in Air Transport and Logistics Management, which included a sandwich year working for an air navigation service provider, and then an MSc in Air Transport Management. British Airways’ Future Leaders graduate scheme appealed because it would give me an insight into so many different areas of the airline – but what I’ve seen and done has surpassed all expectations.
I spent two months as Cabin Crew. Working in this hands-on, real-time role taught me so much about our operations and what is important to our customers (we still fly once every three months to stay up to date). I worked as a Customer Service Agent at Heathrow’s Terminal 3, which helped me understand the daily operational challenges our people face in such a busy environment. For patience, diplomacy and great customer service, no other airline can touch us!
My advice would be: throw yourself in, try new things, the opportunities are there.”
Now I’m a Project Manager in Flight Technical Services. Every day brings new tasks and challenges, from negotiating contracts and preparing business cases to developing project strategy or business requirement documents. I’ve also worked with senior managers in developing and implementing new business initiatives. The project I’m currently working on involves an operationally critical system. I manage activities to deadline and liaise with subject matter experts – fortunately there’s always someone around to help with the technical jargon! It’s unseen work, but absolutely vital to keeping our aircraft in the air.
If you feel the Future Leaders scheme might be right for you, my advice would be: throw yourself in, try new things, the opportunities are there. Sure, it takes time to settle into each new role, but using your network will be invaluable in making each adjustment.