We spoke to a former BTEC Travel and Tourism student Luke Bearpark about his experience with the qualification and the skills he developed throughout. Hear what Luke has to say -
Why did you choose to do a BTEC in Travel and Tourism?
BTEC wasn’t the obvious choice for me in school. I was planning to stay on in Sixth Form and complete A-Levels but after researching what subjects I could study, none really stood out to me. I had heard about BTEC but didn’t really know what they were so started researching. I found the Travel and Tourism course and it immediately stood out to me. It was the perfect course for me as this was the industry, I had always wanted to work in. The course was advertised as a mix of practical and written assessment and was also linked to a company called Flybe.
With BTEC, not only do you get the qualification, you get an experience that you will hold with you forever
What are you doing for work now?
I now work for a major UK international airline as Cabin Crew. My typical working day is very different to everyone else’s. Some days start at 3am and other days might not start until 9pm! My duty days can vary massively in length. Sometimes I will just be travelling to Manchester and on these days I’ll be back by lunchtime whereas other days I could be flying to Cape Town in which case I’ll be in the air for 12 hours and staying in Cape Town, not getting back to London till 4 days later. On board, the day consists of in-depth security checks and preparing for the on-board service before welcoming our passengers onto the aircraft. Then there’s the classic safety demonstration before take-off. When we’re in the air, there’s always a service but this is different dependent on the length of flight that we’re operating. Thankfully, things don’t go wrong very often. However, if they do, we’re fully trained to deal with any situation that is thrown at us.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Definitely the destination. I get to travel to different parts of the world every day and get paid for it, it is incredible. The world is full of amazing places that I would never have dreamed of being able to visit but thanks to this incredible job I get to on a regular basis. My favourite destinations so far have been Cape Town and Nassau, Bahamas. The amazing mountains and steak in Cape Town and white sandy beaches and Bahamian sunsets in Nassau. What’s not to love! The people are also amazing. It’s unlikely that you fly with the same person, but the crew are so easy to get on with.
Choosing to do a BTEC really was the best decision I made. It prepared me for my future and taught me things I didn’t even think I needed to know
How did BTEC help prepare you for your current job?
My BTEC played a massive part in helping me get my job. From the wealth of knowledge about travel to the perfection of my CV, the mix of units were perfect to get me fully prepared for a future in travel. As well as the course itself, the lecturers were amazing. All of them had industry experience, with some of them having worked as Cabin Crew which really helped me prepare for my application and assessment. My BTEC taught me lots of new skills and really broadened my knowledge. I think the most important skill it taught me was time management and the importance of it not only when submitting my assignments but also as a crew member.
What was the best thing about your BTEC course?
The people, when you choose a BTEC that is so specialised on one area, you need people that are all committed to getting the best out of the two years. Having a group of people that were all so interested in doing what we were doing made the course for me. My BTEC has given me more than just a qualification, but friends for life. People that I have stayed in contact with every day since we left college and people that I know will be a part of my life for a very long time.
Would you recommend a BTEC to other students?
100% YES! You learn more than you need to but never too much and the information that you do learn is always super helpful and will be useful to you at some point during the course. If I could give one piece of advice, go for it! There are so many resources available for you to use so make sure you take full advantage of that. And always remember to reference.