A Travel and Tourism student from Uxbridge College joined Carol Vorderman on a special all-female BA flight to mark International Women’s Day.
Chelsia Afonso, 18, who is one of 32 BA Inspire Student Ambassadors, flew from Heathrow to Glasgow to commemorate International Women’s Day on March 8. The day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women and the flight was planned and delivered by female employees.
Chelsia became an Inspire Student Ambassador last year after applying for the role following work experience for the company, during which she had worked in various customer service areas including at check-in, boarding and in the passenger lounges. As an ambassador she is part of a team of peers and BA staff visiting schools and colleges to talk about the opportunities on offer, including work experience, apprenticeships, and jobs such as customer service representatives, cabin crew and training as a pilot. She also interviews other students hoping to be selected for the programme.
Chelsia, who is studying the BTEC Level 3 in Extended Diploma in Travel and Tourism, said: “It was a lifetime experience to be part of the BA International Women’s Day flight with Carol Vorderman, and such an amazing opportunity to see women working in so many different roles within BA. These included female pilots, dispatchers, flight planners, baggage handlers and loaders - and it was great to see the female pilots on today's flight because most of the time when I fly it's male pilots. I believe that we as a women can do anything to achieve our dreams especially with companies like BA doing so much to encourage more women into the industry.”
“It is also great to be part of the Inspire Student Ambassador Programme. I’ve enjoyed meeting other student ambassadors, and interviewing other students for the programme has helped me improve my interview skills and feel more confident.”
Chelsia has applied for degree courses in Airline and Airport Management, and added: “My dream has always been to work as cabin crew but I’d be interested in a wide range of roles in the industry. Being an Inspire Student Ambassador has been a great experience to add to my CV too.”
Melissa Bridge, Course Leader in Travel & Tourism, said: “We are really proud that Chelsia was chosen for this exciting event on International Women’s Day in her role as a BA Inspire Student Ambassador. She is living proof that Uxbridge College’s Travel and Tourism qualifications are a fantastic way into a wide range of opportunities in the industry, especially through our links with Heathrow, as well as offering a springboard onto a university degree.”