International Tourism Management student Caitlin Small talks about her placement experience with Jac Travel and the advice she would give to students considering a placement.
Can you tell us a bit more about your employer and your role?
Jac Travel is part of Webbeds and is a destination management company that books holidays for inbound travellers. Jac Travel has been in business for 45 years, the company operates in different locations. The office I am based in is Edinburgh. I work alongside the product, operation, and accounting team to create clear and realistic tour itineraries.
What projects have you been working on so far?
When I started, I got the chance to do a little bit of everything as my team is keen to make sure each member has an all-round knowledge of the business. Recently I have been focusing on just clients and I have been concentrating on individual quoting for clients’ tours including group and tailormade.
Have there been any challenges in your placement so far? If so, how have you learned to overcome them?
I had to get used to the way we need to communicate in the office and to clients through email or on the phone. The relationships we keep with hoteliers and B&Bs is based on communicating appropriately. I also had to learn the ins and outs of the UK tourism sector: the hotspots and events happening that affect the availability of accommodation. Finally, I had to work on my time management, prioritising tasks appropriately and adapting from a classroom to an office environment.
What do you hope to take away from your placement?
I hope to build my confidence to work in a team and communicate. I have taken away future holiday plans too.
What opportunities has your placement provided you with?
I have been able to go on a FAM trip, which lets us experience a service we can book for clients. For the trip we had a chauffeur take us round Edinburgh. The team also encourages me give opinions in meetings that contribute to the work ethic of the team.
What are your future plans?
I am still unsure what my set plans are and where I would like to work next. Working at Jac Travel however has kept my ambition to work within different roles in the tourism industry.
What advice would you give students who are considering doing a placement in the future?
Always look at all the options available, what does not seem to apply to you, or your degree, might be the right fit, so always research every placement. Make the most of meeting new people- speak to everyone. Keep up with deadlines and apply, apply, apply!
If you are an employer interested in hosting a placement student, or a current student that’s eligible for a placement module, and are keen to find out more please get in touch with the Placement Team on firstname.lastname@example.org