Meet the Grads - Kathryn Armstrong
My first month at Hays Travel has been a whirlwind, but in a really good way! Our first week was spent with the training team getting to know the business and the structure of our programme. We also spent a day in a retail branch which was important to understand how the business functions outside Head Office and how everything is linked together. After our first week of training we started our first placement at the beginning of August.
My first placement is with the Independence Group Department, a very fast paced and exciting department that deals with all the independent travel agents that operate as an extension of Hays Travel. My first project was to give a presentation to John and Irene Hays at the start of September about the department, what I had contributed or achieved in the first month and also to develop some PR and communications strategies that I felt would benefit the department.
While this seemed like a very daunting task at the beginning it really allowed us to get our teeth into something meaningful straight away and was extremely rewarding to have my own ideas listened to and appreciated so early on, especially from people as influential as John and Irene Hays themselves. I am amazed at the amount of responsibility we were given immediately especially compared to other graduate programmes that I have looked at.
My next 3 months with the IG Department will involve implementing the strategy that I suggested in my presentation and I’m really looking forward to seeing my ideas becoming a reality.
On top of this there is endless amounts of training available to enhance your managerial skills and experience as well as plenty of people who can offer support and guidance if you need it. Everyone has been so welcoming and friendly in the department and my manager Barbara has given me lots of support and guidance so far and I am happy to be involved in the general day to day running of the department on top of my projects.
We have also been lucky enough to be invited to two overseas conferences in Turkey this autumn and we’ll have the opportunity to listen to influential guest speakers such as the CEO of Jet2Holidays and the Editor-in-Chief of Travel Weekly! It’s such an amazing opportunity and I feel privileged to be invited having only been here such a short time.
I can’t wait to see what the next two years have in store for me and my fellow grads at Hays Travel.