When Abigail Poxon began studying at Walsall College, she never imagined it would lead to her spending her summer in Portugal working with a city tour operator.
It was mid-way through her Level 2 Aviation and Cabin Crew Course that she was invited to a presentation at Walsall College delivered by Gecko, who work closely with the Erasmus+ scheme to deliver international work experience placements. Inspired by the possibility of working abroad, Abigail applied there and then for an international placement.
After constructing a tailored CV and attending multiple interviews, Abigail secured her position working for Bluedragon Porto City Tours in Porto, Portugal. For three weeks, spanning from May to June 2022, Abigail soaked up the heritage and culture of Porto while making friends for life in the process.
Abigail says, “My favourite part of the placement was meeting new people. We were all from different places but we all bonded because we were in the same boat. I also really enjoyed having the independence to build new relationships and live away from home”.
Now well into her Level 3 Travel and Tourism course, Abigail is broadening her horizons and re-considering her career path. She admits “I’ve learned so much about different opportunities within the travel industry from my course. At first, I wanted to be a member of cabin crew but now I’m looking into becoming a holiday representative and spending seasons living abroad”.
Abigail is aiming high, using Walsall College’s industry links such as TUI and Jet2Careers to help her secure her dream role. When asked if there was anywhere she would particularly like to visit in the future, she responds “I’d be grateful for anywhere, really! I’ve been on family holidays before but I’d like to see more cities after my experience in Porto. Now I know it’s possible, I’d like to live abroad again because it’s so different to being at home.”
She continues: “My biggest advice is if you really want to explore the world, a career in the travel industry is a fantastic route to take. I’ve learned so much and gained so many skills from my course and my time in Porto that I now feel ready to start my career. There are so many opportunities out there so don’t be afraid to go for them.”