The World Cargo graduate programme is brand new for 2011 so as I am placed currently on the Leaders for Business Programme and working in Cargo, I’m in a good position to tell you what it is like here.
My degree is in Travel & Tourism and I’d already worked in the industry before joining British Airways a couple of years ago. Among the deciding factors for me was the fact that it is the flag carrier, while its strong heritage definitely played on my emotional connection. The facilities and the future of British Airways were looking bright due to the new terminal opening, and the sleek new uniform and powerful brand.
I was very nervous initially, but everyone was very welcoming and supportive and we all soon felt at home!
My role in World Cargo is as BA, Iberia & Alliances Manager, and I’m running a large merger project and implementing change. That involves meeting with different people within BA Cargo and IB Cargo to collate as much hard data as possible to give the project a good grounding, before fixing what the deliverables of the project will be. Weekly I have meetings with the Accountable Finance Manager, Programme Managers, Strategy Manager, the project sponsor and conference calls with Iberia.
As this is my first project management position, I have been doing regular Skillbite sessions. These are two-hour training courses to focus on different parts of project management.
The job itself has taught me a great deal: negotiating, strategic thinking and planning, forward and lateral thinking, how to structure meetings, improved presentation techniques, planning for projects, specific systems knowledge, Trade Union insight and how to interact and work together, how to write a job description, project plan… the list goes on.
Although I’m only working in World Cargo for one year, there are so many opportunities to build your career here. Operational, commercial, people management, customer and project/strategy roles, all focused on the World Cargo brand, delivering a premium service across our huge operation and the logistics associated with running it alongside one of the largest airlines in the world.
British Airways is going through an exciting time of change in World Cargo. I’ve had firsthand experience of this in my current role, and I’d highly recommend being part of it.
I’d recommend this to anyone with common sense and determination, really. You don’t need to be specific about which role you eventually want to do in order to have a fantastic experience that teaches you so much.