Julia and Leah both want to reach for the sky – that is why they decided to take the ‘AIRcelerate’ Bachelor’s degree course at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms, in cooperation with Austrian Airlines. The concept, which is unique in the world today, combines specialist input with practical trainee elements relevant to exactly where they’re going to be used later on – with us! We met up with Julia and Leah, and they told us more about their experience of the first practical stage on the course, at our Head Office and at Vienna Airport.
We began an exciting new chapter in our life at the beginning of this year, when we started the AIRcelerate combined study course with Austrian Airlines. Our education initially started at the University of Applied Sciences in Worms in March 2018. In our first semester, we were given the chance to gain insights into general economics and business administration, as well as becoming acquainted with some of the basic principles underlying the aviation industry.
Did you know, for example, that the fuselage of a Boeing 737 has the same diameter as the engine of a Boeing 777?
Our first few months in Worms simply flew by, and we could hardly wait to see what we would come up against in the first practical section, in Vienna.
Practical stage: AIRcelerate Commercial
We were allocated our first tasks at Head Office in the practical stage, which lasted several weeks. While doing so, we tried out the specialist areas of Pricing and Capacity Steering. This enabled us to participate in numerous training sessions, courses and workshops, all designed to make our entry into working life in the aviation industry easier. From NDC (New Distribution Capability), to Bidprice and BDAF (the connections between Pricing and Capacity Steering), right through to “How does upselling work?”, it was all in there. It was particularly exciting to use what we had learnt directly in practice, gradually start producing our own first analyses, and to reach conclusions based on the results.
Two of our fellow students on the course – Simon and Sophie – supported colleagues from Sales. Day in, day out, the two experienced just how important it is to establish good customer contact, as well as a forward-looking thinking, in a Sales Strategy, and the commitment colleagues show when functioning as brand ambassadors. During a one-week job rotation, Simon and Sophie also got to know the facets of the Marketing Department. As well as this, both were briefly packed off to a Sales Promotion Event in Bratislava so they could offer on-site support.
Practical stage: AIRcelerate Operations
In the ten weeks of our practical stage, we were devoted to tasks involved in Ground Operations. As Check-In and Boarding Agents, we mainly needed to get to know processes on the ground. As well as this, everyone was accompanied by a trainer for the first week, who could support us and look over our shoulders. We quickly became aware that we had an exciting – but also highly demanding – time ahead of us.
As Passenger Service Agents, we then worked mainly in the Check-In Area of the Airport. Our tasks included receiving passengers and comparing passport data, as well as weighing in suitcases and printing out tickets. We noticed that some people find being at the Airport stressful, but it was fun for us to meet passengers with a smile, and be there to support and help them.
One of our other tasks was Boarding directly at the Gate. “Servus and Hello, I am very happy to welcome you onto today’s flight to New York.” To begin with, it felt like a huge challenge to call out an announcement in front of 300 people, but by the second time, it was really fun. Working together with the crew, cleaning staff and ramp agents, we prepared for passengers to board at the Gate. While we were doing this, of course, communicating with passengers was also very important.
During our exciting, demanding and stimulating time with Austrian Airlines, we were able to gain a real insight into the day-to-day business and daily processes in place at our future workplace. With personal stories from individual passengers, joint experiences and a huge amount of new experience, we are now leaving Vienna behind until next semester – and already looking forward to the next practical stages at the Airport!
Thanks very much to both Julia and Leah for these exciting insights into their dual study course in the field of Aviation Management!
Are you fascinated by aviation and all its different aspects, and looking for a richly varied, English-language Bachelor’s degree? If that sounds like you, then you need to be on the AIRcelerate course! Click here for further details about the length of the course, and how you can apply for it.