Editor's Note:The University of Baguio deploys its Hotel & Restaurant Management and Tourism students in establishments in the country and abroad for its local and international on-the-job training program. For over five years, UB has deployed more than 200 trainees in more than three countries across Asia and America. In the following article, UB intern Angelika Austria shares her experience training at the airline company Qatar Airways in Manila. All photos courtesy of Angelika Austria.
Angelika (second from left, standing) with some employees of Qatar Airways
A day in the life of a student is composed of different sets of processes. Every classroom activity, homework, school-related involvement and even the required participation in activities are all part of the holistic development of being a student. These things that a student goes through should not just be viewed as a typical day-to-day experience, rather a significant part of the totality to attain something greater, which is achieving what we envision of ourselves.
As a tourism student in my lower years, one of my goals was to be part of a five-star airline company. In my senior year, I was reminded of it when we were given the freedom to choose what establishment or company we may put into practice the knowledge and skills we gained from our school as on-the-job trainee.
I tried all the ways to reach such goal and blessedly I came across a five-star airline company, Qatar Airways. Since the very start, my journey in Qatar Airways was full of unpredictable things. From the interview to the on-the-job training itself, it was totally a wide variety of experiences.
During the interview, I learned that an organized and well-done curriculum vitae plays a big role for it sets a mirror of yourself for first impressions. After the interview, I had mixed emotions. A day after the interview, I was delighted by a brief phone call. It was the official confirmation from Qatar Airways.
I looked for a place where I could stay. I learned the commute routine I will be experiencing. I familiarized myself with the environment that I will be going through for a couple of months. It will not just be as easy as a ten-point quiz – it’s a number of tests for me to go through, and it’s not just a test between me and my chosen field but also a test between me and the reality out there.
The challenge was really on time and location. I was set to do my duties regardless of how early or late I might work, and how far or near the location was. I was designated in a different location every day on a four o'clock in the morning duty. I would check the passengers’ documents and would oversee and send them off from Resorts World Manila to Trinoma Clark International Airport Lounge and Trinoma Clark International Airport Lounge to Clark International Airport. I was able to learn the Amadeus Altéa passenger service when I was designated at the reservation and ticketing office of Qatar Airways at Bonifacio Global City.
I was also able to experience the life at the back office every time I had a duty at the head finance department. The challenge was uncontrollable. I experienced keeping up with the changes of the duty time schedule based on the shifting of the morning schedule to evening schedule.
The training helped me condition my body system and mindset for the 24/7 life in the hospitality and tourism industry. It further helped me a lot and gave me a better direction on the field I really want to specialize with.
Indeed, an on-the-job training is not as easy as what others perceive. It will take a lot of adjustments, hard work, and right attitude to succeed. It is not just merely a part of the curriculum for you to comply but a part of your life to discover about the inner you and have a development and improvement not just with your knowledge and skills but also with your character. An on-the-job training should not be construed as the end of your student life but a stepping stone to reality and to the goals that you have. – Angelika Austria
Angelika Austria is a senior BS Tourism student of the University of Baguio.