A FORMER celebrity travel agent is returning to Hartlepool College of FE to pass on her years of experience to the next generation of travel, tourism and aviation students.
The Travel & Tourism department has an exciting new qualification which alongside existing courses offered will help students gain the knowledge to be cabin crew.
Courses can open doors to a wealth of other jobs in the industry including airport management, check-in staff, customs and airport administration.
Ex-student Siobhan Osbourne has returned after eight years in the industry to share her extensive experiences from around the world with students.
Siobhan completed her Level 3 Travel & Tourism course at Hartlepool College of FE after leaving High Tunstall College of Science.
The 26-year-old, who is now studying for her Level 4 certificate in Education and Training, said: “After leaving my course I started working in a travel agency, and after a year and a half in that role I moved onto another agency in a more responsible position.
“I’d learned about the industry as I’d gone along, and by the time I was 23 I started working as cabin crew for EasyJet based in Gatwick.
“I was working five days on, three days off, with around four flights a day. It was tough, but it was interesting and again it gave me a different insight into the industry as a whole. No two days are the same”
That experience helped Siobhan into her next role, which saw her based in Manchester for luxury tour operator Carrier.
“That gave me a different angle to look at the travel sector. I was arranging holidays for celebrities through their agents and had to know every single detail about the resorts they were going to. Some asked how big the beds were, others wanted to know where the doors were located within the rooms. I had to know every detail, but it gave me the opportunity to travel to places like Barbados, St Vincent, Antigua and the Grenadines.
“I travelled the world, learning about marketing, how we could develop or products, targeting potential new properties. It all stemmed from the Travel & Tourism course, and even though I’m still relatively young I’m well experienced in all areas of the travel sector.
“I’m now back at the College, and I’m hoping to get into lecturing in Travel, Tourism and Aviation to pass on what I’ve learned to the current students who are starting the course in September.
“It is really good that the department is now offering cabin crew alongside the existing Travel and Tourism course and I think the students who sign up for it will really enjoy it because it is an extremely exciting career path to choose.”
Sara Paterson, lecturer in Travel, Tourism and Aviation at Hartlepool College, said: “I am really proud of Siobhan, who is one of my ex-students, and it’s nice to welcome her back to the department as a teacher.”
Nicola Bird, who also lectures in Travel,Tourism and Aviation, added: “By introducing aviation as an offering, we will be able to open even more doors in the travel and tourism sector.
“We have already had contact from Emirates and British Airways and they have helped us with various aspects of the course.”
For more information about the Travel & Tourism course at Hartlepool College of Further Education, or any other enrolment opportunities, call 01429 295111 or visit www.hartlepoolfe.ac.uk