Plymouth University student Amy Edmonds will this summer become Abta’s first intern.
Amy, who is in the final year of a tourism management degree, will be joining the association’s destinations and sustainability team for a month-long, paid internship in July.
“I feel lucky to have got this and I’m really excited,” admits Amy, who hopes the placement will be a springboard to a career in the industry.
“I’m excited about the chance to find out how the industry works and to do some networking. I think it will be interesting and it will be great to contribute towards making travel more sustainable.”
Sustainability is one of the subjects the 22-year-old is most interested in – she is writing her dissertation on ‘voluntourism’.
“Travelling opened my eyes,” adds Amy. “People want to volunteer abroad; they do it for two weeks but they don’t get to see the benefits of what they’ve done.”
She was one of 10 students to apply for the internship and one of four shortlisted to attend an interview after writing a report as part of her application.
Amy’s 1,500-word report highlighted oil prices, population growth and climate change as three of the main challenges and opportunities for the industry over the next five years. “A lot of it fitted with the sustainability module I’ve been studying. I really enjoyed doing it,” she says.
She attended a selection day at Abta to be interviewed and get a feel for the association and how it works. It also included an informal discussion with Abta chairman Noel Josephides on how the association could improve opportunities for students.
“We got the chance to meet all the different departments at Abta. I had done a lot of preparation for the interview, but it wasn’t scheduled until the end of the day, so I had time to worry about it. I can’t believe I got it,” adds Amy.
Amy, who completed a year-long placement with Hilton Hotels in Bristol as part of her degree, knows from friends how difficult it can be to get a first job in travel. It has, she says, made her even more grateful for the opportunity to become an intern.
“Quite a few of my friends did placements but they found it easier to get into hospitality than travel. It took them quite a long time to get the jobs they wanted, so this is a great opportunity and a way for me to get some industry experience.”