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Julie Dilloway Knapp: A Life In Travel

Sometimes you know exactly what you want to do in life, and other times it just spontaneously works its way out. This is exactly what happened to former student Julie Dolloway Knapp…

A mere 25+ years ago, Julie was unsure of what she wanted to do. She stumbled upon the brand new Travel & Tourism course (formerly known as Leisure Studies). This was the first year that Brooklands College ran the course and it progressed onwards from there. Julie enjoyed the practical nature of the course and, in particular, liked the ‘People In Organisations’ and ‘Arts & Entertainments’ modules. “We organised a conference and events, that was quite good. We also had a trip to Barcelona,” Julie explains. 

“From college I worked in the theatre for about 4 years and I did lots of summer jobs overseas and then I started at Virgin Atlantic 21 years ago. I started at Check In and I worked my way up.” Julie now proudly holds the title of Vice President of Cabin at Virgin Atlantic. 

Julie’s Typical Working Day: We have around 2,000 crew at the moment, so my role covers all aspects of their experience – Talking to the unions, working out establishment (who we need where), training, the servicers on board… everything from every part of that crew journey, so it’s really varied. I’ve worked from home now throughout the whole year for COVID, but i do go into the airport to see the crews or our training centre in Crawley. I go in at least once every two weeks to see the crew and talk to some of the teams that support them.”

Julie’s Advice to Travel & Tourism students: If you’re interested in the Travel industry or even Aviation particularly, you need to be a bit more patient than normal over this year and next year because there just isn’t going to be the volume of roles. What you can do in the meantime is get yourself a customer facing role – shops, theme parks or anything that’s dealing with customers will put you in good stead. There’s all sorts of things like that, even if you get activity camp jobs, where you can prove you’re a team player and you’re working with customers. The more life experience you have, the better.

We asked Julie if she’d recommend Brooklands College and she stated, “If you want more practical courses, then it’s definitely the way to go. Some of the subjects and modules are really good, it gives you a bit of variety.”

It is now a great time to study Travel & Tourism – When you have completed the course, the industry will have recovered and is literally set to take off!

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Brooklands College Weybridge Campus

Heath Road, Weybridge, Surrey KT13 8TT

Brooklands College Ashford Campus

Stanwell Road, Ashford TW15 3DU