We Choose Cruise

Students from both the 120-hour and 300-hour courses visited the Radisson Hotel near the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN for a recruitment presentation by Norwegian Cruise Line. Students used the cruise information that they learned in their training in order to prepare for this day’s events. They also perfected their personal appearance from all of the notes they received yesterday during their “appearance checks.” Indeed, they looked like confident and polished candidates, ready to be employed and do a great job.

As one of the Norwegian Cruise Line representatives came in, he was immediately impressed by the timeliness and professionalism of the students. Following the results of the interviews, we’re sure that everyone will conclude that this was certainly a day well spent. 

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Appearance Matters

Today at The Travel Academy, the 300-hour students were groomed with a fine-tooth comb during an activity simply deemed “appearance check.” In these sessions, students dress and present themselves as professionally as possible for their chosen paths: flight attendant, cruise line professional, or travel agent. Then our instructors check over every aspect of their appearance: clothing, hair, makeup, nails, shoes, jewelry, etc.

There are many different elements that are involved in creating a professional ensemble, and they all need to be held to the highest scrutiny. Many travel companies have very strict standards when it comes to work attire and presentation. Here at The Travel Academy, students can get feedback and make mistakes BEFORE the job interview happens. This kind of training is so valuable for exactly that reason. 

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Cruise jobs? Yes, please.

On Tuesday of next week, some 20 students from The Travel Academy will be visiting our friends from a major international cruise line for an informational presentation and recruitment session at the Radisson Hotel- Mall of America in Bloomington, MN.

Networking and career opportunities such as these abound at The Travel Academy, and we are happy to keep the momentum going. At this presentation, students will hear about the company’s history as well as what to expect while working aboard a cruise ship. There are several positions open at this moment: restaurant stewards, guest service associates (fluent in German and/or Japanese), and general cruise staff. The interviews will then happen, with each one lasting only around three or four minutes- hopefully with hiring to follow! 

Although many people come to The Travel Academy because they want to become flight attendants, a lot of those same people find out over time that they would actually prefer to work on a cruise line. Indeed, the environments between and airplane and a ship, though similar in many ways, are also different enough to appeal to different personality types and skill sets. 

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Mock and Roll

Today the students in the 120-hour class had some excellent training in interviewing skills and career development with Miss Peggy and our placement director Elisa. Students experienced very lifelike simulations of real (and sometimes awkward) interviewing conditions. The value of this practice is so great because students have the benefit of friendly instructors and colleagues offering feedback in a controlled environment. They can make mistakes and improve for the next time. With real interviews, students will not have these luxuries- all the more reason for students to take advantage of this opportunity. 

Many of the students had “applied” to be flight attendants, but there were also several people who were interested in working on cruise lines or as travel agents. Some of the best moments of the interview process were the improvised answers to difficult “on-the-spot” questions. Naturally, students from The Travel Academy conducted themselves with poise, polish, and professionalism. They are bound to be even better when the time comes for an actual interview! 

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Would You Like a Beverage?

Well, it has happened again. Once more the flight attendant profession proves to be more than meets the eye. For the longest time I thought that the beverage service on an airplane was just a simple routine. Little did I know the complexity that is involved with each maneuver. I assume many students coming into The Travel Academy might think the same way.

However, today the students in Miss Peggy’s flight attendant training course learned all of the ins and outs of a successful beverage service- including different serving patterns, how to communicate with fellow flight attendants, and the rules about serving alcoholic drinks. Needless to say, after a few minutes of hearing about all of the variations of one seemingly simple service, many of the students were impressed (if not overwhelmed). But with some hands on practice, the students started to get a handle on these concepts. It looks like they were even having some fun too!

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Becoming a Flight Attendant

It’s always great to hear about success. Luckily at The Travel Academy, success abounds. Our latest story comes by way of Ms. Valentine W. of Texas. Valentine was a student of our 300-hour course which ran from January until March of this year (2014).

Immediately Valentine distinguished herself with her kind personality and excellent work ethic. She took her training very seriously and studied extensively. Not only did she attend ALL of her classes, she was also a student intern whose duties included many office jobs. She performed all of these chores (some not so pleasant) always with a smile on her face and a desire to do them right. 

So it becomes all the more rewarding that Valentine landed an excellent flight attendant position with American Airlines, one of the biggest airlines in the world. It just goes to show what a good attitude and a strong work ethic can get you in life. Way to go, Valentine. We’re very happy for you!

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More Travel Tips

Last week we looked at a few of Miss Cindy’s helpful tips for travelers. Here are a few more: (Interesting side note: Miss Cindy is at this moment training at American Cruise Lines in Portland for curriculum development. She also takes continuing education in flight attendant and travel agent training.)

It’s always a good idea to have the following:

1. Wet wipes/Hand wipes:  nice to have with you in case you are not near a restroom.

2. Electrical outlet plug in: great to have in hotel room or on cruise ship so you have extra outlets for appliances.

3. Duct tape:  great for fixing various things.

4. Always pack an umbrella: you never know if it’s going to rain or be extremely sunny

5. Deck of cards: never underestimate the lameness of boredom.

For International travel:

 6.  Passport copies:  make two photo copies of the picture page of your passport. Take one with you but keep it separate from your real passport, leave the second copy with a family or friend at home.  If your passport is lost or stolen while traveling, you have a copy and someone at home has a copy which will help to expedite the renewal process. You won’t be able to get home without your new passport. 

*As an added bonus, here is a link to a video of Miss Cindy going down the emergency slide at the Pan Am training center. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZ6UKSHBrzk

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Travel Tips from Travel Experts

Miss Cindy, The Travel Academy’s Education Director, decided to divulge some of her secret travel knowledge that she has gained over the years. She put it all in an easy-to-read and useful list. This information is great for flight attendants, cruise line professionals, travel agents, and just regular travelers. Here are a few of her tips:

1. Always take plenty of zip-lock bags. Uses include:

a.)   Keeping your shampoo, lotions and other liquids inside in case of leaks during flights.

b.)   Wet bathing suit on last day of trip prior to flying home.

c.)   Keeping phone or camera inside while at the beach.

 2. Roll your clothes, don’t fold them.  Put rolled items inside zip-lock bags. This keeps everything neat and organized in your suitcase. Pack clothes that you can mix and match and that layer well.

 3. After clearing security, buy a large bottle of water or bring an empty bottle along that you can fill at a drinking fountain. Drinking water is important while flying to keep from getting dehydrated.

4.  Snacks: Bring along some snacks in case of flight delays.  

 5.  Clorox disinfectant wipes: great to use on the plane to wipe down your food tray before use. Great for other purposes as well. 

More tips to come!

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The Training Begins

Today the newest group of 300-hour course students arrived for their first day at The Travel Academy. The morning opened with words of encouragement from President Curt Armstrong as well as instructors Miss Julie and Miss Cindy.

After the staff speeches, the students were led on a brief building tour by Miss Cindy. Afterwards, the students introduced themselves to the rest of their classmates. They talked about where they come from, what they want to study (flight attendant, cruise line, or travel agent), other languages they speak, their height, and their age. Needless to say, it had the possibility be a little nerve-racking, but the students kept their composure and delivered excellent self-introductions.

After that, it was on to a very welcoming pizza party. There was definitely a sense of fun and relationship building. All the students seemed very eager to get to know one another, as well as move on with their training. All in all- a very successful day.

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Arrivals

The next wave of 300-hour students will start their travel training this Monday. I am sure many of them are now trying to decide if they want to be a flight attendant, a cruise line professional, or a travel agent. The good thing is, at least for now, they don’t need to make that decision, because they will be receiving great training in all of these fields and others. In the meantime, hopefully they will enjoy their time in Minnesota (as many of them have traveled from out of state [or even internationally]). 

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