Hayley Fraser on how you can crack the travel and tourism industry
Talking to Hayley Fraser, it's clear she was destined to be a part of the travel and tourism industry. She has spent 2019 devoted to learning all she can to propel her career in this exciting sector. Hayley has just completed the Diploma of Travel and Tourism Management (1-year full time) at Angliss' Melbourne campus and spoke to us about her experience on campus, and in the 'real world' through her placement opportunity.
What is it that attracted you to working in the Tourism and Travel sector?
I have had over 10 years of travel experience, both domestic and overseas, and each experience has changed me as a person.
When I started the course I began to think about why I love to travel. I realised that travel fed my desire to continuously learn and grow, gain new experiences and always aim to be a better person. Travel helps achieve that.
What were your career interests prior to this – and how has your background and work experience prepared you for working in Tourism and Travel?
I had a successful career in medical administration prior to this. I loved working for a not-for-profit and being able to support disadvantaged people. The most useful skill I was able to transfer across was being able to communicate with people of all different cultures and demographics. I had to think outside the box when it came to communicating effectively.
What were you hoping to come out of the course with? Did you have a "dream job" in mind, or were you just happy to explore the subject?
I didn't have a dream job in mind but I did have a list of jobs that appealed to me. And that list grew and grew throughout the year as I was introduced to industry professionals. The tourism industry is huge! It's quite daunting just how many options there are. My aim for enrolling was to learn more about myself, to challenge myself and eventually to find a dream job.
How did your course prepare you for working in Travel & Tourism?
The course introduced me to how vast the tourism industry is. The teachers also introduced me to organisations like the Young Tourism Network who have been incredibly supportive this year.
What learning resources and facilities did you find most useful on campus?
The teachers! The teachers have all worked (and many still work in) the tourism industry. They share personal experiences and can relate the unit topics to their own tourism roles.
Also, the social and career networking events at Angliss are enormously helpful in introducing students to professionals; they offer advice on job interview techniques, recruitment processes, and the day-to-day tasks they manage.
Tell us about your placement at the Australian Association of Accommodation (AAoA). What is a typical day like? What kinds of professional insights have you gained from the placement and the team?
There hasn't been a typical day! It's been exciting. I've had the opportunity to travel to Bendigo to assist with an event hosted by the AAoA. Another event I was part of was the Future Melbourne Forum.
Other days are generally in the shared office space on Collins Street with incredible views of the CDB. One project I worked on was putting together an event calendar for Australian capital cities. It allowed me to be creative and learn a lot about the impact events can have on the accommodation industry.
Can you tell us about any mentorship you've received, either formally or informally, through your studies and placement?
Michelle, my placement supervisor at AAoA, was always very generous in offering her advice and sharing her experiences with me. I'm very grateful for the 120 hours of placement I had with her because she genuinely wants me to succeed and she went out of her way to provide advice and guidance.
This year I was also selected to be 1 of 5 students in Melbourne to be part of the Young Tourism Network Trusted Advisor Program. I received mentoring from 5 incredible advisors and was lucky enough to go to their workplaces to spend half a day with each.
What tips would you give to people who want to start a career in this industry?
Say yes to the opportunities! There are so many opportunities to meet people and learn new skills in the tourism industry. You just have to say yes to them.
Volunteer. Volunteering is such a great thing to have on your resume and you can gain connections and new skills from each experience. Throughout the year I volunteered at Werribee Visitor Info Centre and it helped me so much when I was completing my assignments, as I was able to apply the knowledge I was learning during my volunteering to my studies.
Get work experience in customer service. Any customer service experience you can get will help you in both your studies and also your future job opportunities. It's so valuable.
In your opinion, what can make or break a positive tourism experience?
Customer service! It all comes down to feeling welcomed, being greeted with a smile, and being provided friendly customer service. How you are treated is what you will remember.
Finally, what destinations are on your must-see list?
- New Zealand by Motorhome
- Hawaii for poke bowls, volcanos, hiking and Molokai history
- Atlanta, USA for the Center for Puppetry Arts and tempting Georgian food!