Taking Flight Blog

Hear from Ainsley at Hamilton, working behind-the-scenes of the hotel!

Work, Study + Play Whitsundays student Ainsley came all the way from Sydney to start her new adventure in the picturesque Whitsundays! Hear about how she balances work, study and island life. 

"It is so easy to progress your career across the island, in so many different ways." - Ainsley

Where did your journey with Flight Centre Travel Academy begin? 

In March 2022, I moved by myself from Sydney to Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays.

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Ainsley jumping off the Atlantic Clipper ⚓

As a Work, Study + Play Whitsundays student, what is something you wish you knew before starting the program?

The experience is truly what you make it! The study can be challenging but reach out for help and you'll be absolutely fine. 

Another thing is that the more you go out with friends the easier it is to be away from home but the more you work the more experience in the industry you will get. You need to be able to find a balance between the elements of Work, Study + Play. I wish someone told me it's okay to miss home and it doesn't mean the experience isn't worth it!

P.S! Even though it's the beautiful Whitsundays Islands, it does still get nippy in Winter. Be sure to pack some warm clothes to rug-up in! 

You're working at the beautiful Hamilton Island - can you tell us a little bit about your role there and about what island life is like?

I am the Housekeeping Coordinator at Reef View Hotel! I essentially run the behind-the-scenes of the hotel. In this role I organise all the activities and communications between the hotel teams and the hotel guests. I began my adventure as a housekeeper. This was a good start, but I knew I wanted to try progress within the hotel.  Once I got started, I made many amazing friends, and you can learn so much, and they make it very easy to progress your career across the island, in so many different ways. After just three months, I received my promotion and now I'm constantly learning new things and doing this I never believed I could.

You develop friendships quite quickly through work, your induction and a variety of other events, however, go out when you can, it's truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience (don't forget about your studies though). The Island is so beautiful, everyone knows everyone and with always lends a helping hand.

It's a big change from the Sydney, city life, but it's so worth it!

the whitsundays islands

Not a bad view.

Can you tell us a little bit about some of the highlights you've experienced so far in the Whitsundays?

Some of my highlights include making lifelong friends from across the world, sleep on the Great Barrier Reef just on my days off as it's basically my backyard. I also went on the Atlantic Clipper for 3 days and 2 nights which was incredible, and I went with a bunch of friends and met so many amazing people. However, for me nothing with beats the morning sunrise hikes and swims, they're absolutely breath-taking every time. 

You took part in the Eco Barge Marine Debris clean up activity - what's something you learnt on this day and how has it impacted your environmental practice moving forward?

The most eye-opening thing for me was seeing how bottle caps from plastic water bottle are found on the beach, just from one collection, there was close to 3000 bottle caps. I have also started using reusable coffee cups, water bottles and glass containers as they aren't just good for the environment but also for my health.

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Reef View Hotel, Hamilton Island

Which subject have you absolutely loved throughout your studies? 

 So far, I have enjoyed Travel Trends and Insights as well as Successful Sales Techniques, as they are both based around travel making it more interesting and engaging. I can't wait to see the next subjects like these!

Where are you travelling too next?  

My plan is to move back to Sydney next year and start working in hotels there, as well as travelling to New Zealand in 2023 and Europe in 2024!

Discover Work, Study + Play Whitsundays today!

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