Following the Future You 2012 event at WTM there were a number of media outlets that shared coverage of the day, including this from the Travel Trade Gazette (TTG):
WTM 2012: Future You shines light on diverse career paths in travel
A group from TTG’s 30 Under 30 initiative were in action today at the Future You Conference at WTM, advising over 500 travel and tourism students on way that they can start out in the industry.
As part of WTM’s Business Day, Future You is now an annual feature on the Thursday of the show and was this year moderated by one of TTG’s Tomorrow’s Travel Leaders, Danny Waine.
Waine brought together keynote speakers Laura Dewar, VisitEngland’s destination PR manager and Lee Haslett, Virgin Holidays’ head of retail, along with a panel of representatives from the TTG initiative, run in partnership with C&M Recruitment and the ITT.
The speakers shared how they had got their start in the industry, highlighting how there is no ‘standard’ route into travel and tourism.
Haslett, who at just 27 heads up retail for Virgin Holidays’ 105 stores with 552 employees, talked about how he started in the retail sector at Homebase before moving over to travel a few years later.
On starting out at the home improvement giant he said: “Even though I was only earning £3.60 an hour and working 30 to 40 hours a week, I absolutely loved learning the trade and found that I enjoyed the customer service and selling stuff,” he said.
Haslett went on to become the youngest manager in Homebase’s history at 17, before later joining Virgin Holidays when the operator had just two shops – one in his home town of Guildford and one in Romford.
“I would say to you, absolutely make mistakes. But make sure you never make the same mistake twice,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dewar shared her journey into travel PR, and urged the audience to get involved with any work experience or extra-curricular or community activities that demonstrated different skill sets. She also urged the students to ensure they tailor their CVs and covering letters for each job application.
“I recently advertised for a position and received over 370 CVs, 70% of which we could discount straight away because they didn’t even mention VisitEngland,” she added.