Davina is one of our VIC Course Facilitators and has been in the travel industry for over 8 years. Today we chat with Davina about her journey in the industry and her tips for students on how to create a successful career in travel too!
How many years have you worked in travel and could you please tell us a little bit about the different roles you have worked in the industry?
My background is working as a Secondary School Teacher. During my 3rd year of teaching, I took a term off work and headed on my very first overseas trip to the US and Europe – I had a 12 week adventure and loved every second of it.
I worked as a teacher for a few years and then wanted to try something different, which was working for a children’s charity who helped under privileged families gain access to education. As much as I loved this job, I knew that I needed to keep travelling, so I then decided to do what a lot of young Australians do and get a working holiday visa to go live in the UK.
I ended up in London, where I got back into teaching, which was fantastic as it gave me a chance to travel with my 12 weeks of holidays a year. I was planning on going for 2 years – but it ended up being for seven! Throughout this time I was fortunate to travel extensively and having the best experience life could offer.
It only took me 7 years to become home sick… but I wanted to come back to Melbourne to be with my family. However, I knew that I didn’t want to work as a teacher anymore. So I decided to apply for Flight Centre as I knew I loved travel, working with people and talking to people about travelling.
I have now been in the travel industry for 8 years, 2 years as a consultant and 6 years with the Flight Centre Travel Academy.
What has kept you in this industry for so long?
For me it’s easy, I love what I do and I love working with people in this industry. As the saying goes…”Do what you love and you never work a day in your life!”
What lead you to become a trainer at Flight Centre Travel Academy?
Not only do I have a passion for travel, but I have a passion for education. When I was in training to become a Flight Centre Travel Consultant I remember looking at my trainer and thinking to myself, I want that job! And 2 years later, I got it! For me to be able to teach people about this amazing industry and get people excited about travelling is the best job satisfaction that anyone can ask for. I know that from what we do, we can change a lot of people’s lives and that’s what I love about working for Flight Centre Travel Academy.
Is there a particular conference, work trip, global or buzz night that has been a standout?
Probably my first global ball. My whole store qualified as a team, and it was a fantastic way to get recognised for the hard work that we had done throughout the year. It was in Paris – which of course is amazing, however the main guest speaker was Michael J Fox – who was my screen crush since I was 8 years old (which is a LONG time ago now). Needless to say I completely lost it when he came out on stage. I texted all my school friends there and then to make them super jealous! It worked!
What advice do you give your classes when talking to them about landing a job after they graduate?
Firstly, do your research. Find out what companies are out there. Flight Centre Travel Group holds travel expos every year - go along and see all the different travel companies under one roof. Research their philosophies and ascertain which companies align with your own personal ideals and values.
Secondly, network, talk to people within the industry, listen to their stories, how did they get to where they are?
Thirdly, listen to those in the know. Have you spoken to your class facilitators? Do you take on their feedback? What advice can you use to help you?
What do you think is important for our students to know to creating a successful, life-long career in travel?
Go above and beyond and try to learn as much as you can – from EVERYONE. Use your initiative and be motivated.