Sky’s the limit for USC business graduates - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Sky’s the limit for USC business graduates

7 Aug 2018

The careers of a group of USC business graduates are ready for take-off after they landed sought-after positions with a major travel company as part of its’ national graduate program.

Laura Whitcombe, Ellis Mitchell and Ashleigh Bateman were among 100 Flight Centre travel consultants employed from 6,000 hopefuls in the company’s intake earlier this year.

Michelle Degenhardt of Flight Centre’s Graduate Program said the graduates were chosen for their strong leadership potential and, naturally, a passion for travel.

“As a company, we focus on career progression and helping our people achieve their goals. In fact, most of our senior leaders began their careers in our stores as travel consultants,” Ms Degenhardt said.

“Participants on our graduate program are earmarked for rapid progression and given access to additional training and development to support this. The graduates on our program can realistically expect to be running a store and leading a team by the end of the 14-month program.”

While Ellis is based in Ipswich and Ashleigh at Tweed Heads, Laura said she’s relishing her new role at Flight Centre Maroochydore.

“I live and breathe travel and love the fact I get to talk about travel all day long,” said Laura, who has already travelled to 16 countries.

She said her USC studies had provided her with many of the skills she uses in her work.

“I had tried to get into the travel industry previously, but the assessment, presentations and research from my study gave me the confidence and an edge in my interviews,” she said.

USC academic Dr Vikki Schaffer said graduates from USC’s Bachelor of Business (Tourism, Leisure and Event Management) were often snapped up because they were ‘industry ready’.

“The study program features a comprehensive theoretical foundation but also several opportunities to directly engage with the industry to build confidence and shape industry networks,” Dr Schaffer said.

As part of the Flight Centre program, the USC graduates will have access to ongoing training and development, exclusive travel industry deals and a chance to attend the Flight Centre Global Conference in Las Vegas for the top performers.

— Michelle French

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