My first placement at Avios was six months of learning, taking opportunities, and new experiences. I was allocated to the Emergent Tech team which sits in the Digital department at Avios, whose remit includes developing new digital products such as the app, running creative thinking workshops across the business, and working on new digital ways of working at Avios.
After our two-week induction, I felt good about starting my placement. A first placement is slightly different to beginning your following placements as you are still learning the business: what we do, how we do it, and who everyone is; but my team helped me feel at home and ensured I got caught up to speed.
From my first week I was given great opportunities within the team, which required a lot of responsibility. During my placement my main project was an internal crowdsourcing campaign and competition to get people to submit ideas for how we could improve the ways we work and create products for customers at Avios. I managed all aspects of the project during planning, and supported the campaign while it was live including A LOT of internal social media posts!
The support from my line manager and team members helped me to develop skills and behaviours, and also helped me if I was struggling with any tasks. It meant that I learned a lot from their expertise, and that I could move out of my comfort zone knowing that they were more than happy to support me if I had any questions (which I did!)
I felt that my first placement gave me the confidence for my remaining three placements at Avios, and helped me to develop skills in an area of business that is invaluable to have experience in. Once you have finished your placement, it’s not goodbye forever! I still regularly catch up with my previous team members, and now have relevant contacts in the business.
My first placement put me in a great position for the rest of my time on the Grad scheme, and I’m looking forward to what my other placements bring
The office at Astral Towers in Crawley has a very friendly atmosphere. We all hot-desk, meaning you regularly find yourself sitting next to a variety of people. This has been a fantastic way to meet colleagues from all around the business and get exposure to the projects that different teams are working on. The Directors’ desks are also interspersed with ours, meaning you’re often interacting with them and getting a good understanding of the business at a high level.
Although there are no set desks, each department has a designated base split across two floors, making it very easy to find the people you have queries for. There are 250 people here in total, everyone is very approachable for a face to face chat rather than having to constantly rely on email.
Although we have formal meeting rooms, we also have the communal Break Out area – a very relaxed space where we have microwaves, fridges, tea, coffee and fruit. It can often be found hosting an internal competition to celebrate the signing of a new partner or launch of a collection mechanic; in the last few months flights, Cava and a Fortnum and Mason hamper have been on offer with the proceeds of raffles going to charity.
The helpful people, flexibility and open nature of the Avios office mean you are constantly learning from those around you, and it has been a wonderfully supportive place to start our careers.
I applied for the Graduate Programme at Avios in January 2017, and got through to the Assessment Day stage. At the Assessment Day, I was impressed with the atmosphere in the office and liked that the employees were so friendly and welcoming. After attending the Assessment Day, I decided that I really liked the offices, company and people.
Unfortunately, a couple of weeks later I found out that I didn’t get a place in the Graduate Programme. I was disappointed at the time, but remained interested in working for Avios. A few days later I was contacted by the Recruitment team, to see if I was interested in applying for a Marketing Executive role. As Marketing was one of my main interests, I applied for the role and was over the moon when I got it.
I started in May 2017, and have really enjoyed my time so far. The team were so welcoming straight away; they were really supportive in helping me to learn the ropes and invited me to social events which was a great way to get to know everyone. Within my first six months, I was involved in the launch of nine new non-air partners and I managed one of our monthly emails, as well as delivering many other campaigns. More recently I’ve started working in a different market, which allows me to apply everything that I’ve learned so far in new ways and to take on even more responsibility.
I’m glad that I applied for the Graduate Programme at Avios – even though things didn’t turn out as I expected, I’m working in a role that I really enjoy where I can continue to learn and develop.
During my time within Airline Partnerships team, I had the opportunity to work with an Op Co airline named Meridiana. Avios power the Meridiana Club loyalty program, in which we work in partnership to help acquire and engage members into the program. Part of this relationship involves both parties holding quarterly reviews for performance purposes. Meridiana are based in Olbia, which is a coastal city in the northeast of Sardinia, Italy. We flew out from Heathrow with BA direct to Olbia. When we arrived, we went straight to the Meridiana Head Office to go through the agenda that we had planned. We split the meeting into acquisition, retention and attrition of the customer base and we looked at future collection and redemption campaign/activity to drive overall success of the partnership. We then returned to the hotel to get ready to venture into Olbia with the Meridiana team for a meal out. The following day we picked the meeting up from where we left off, we continued the agenda and planned next steps moving forwards. We then got a BA return flight back to Heathrow. It was a short trip, only 1 night but it was a great experience to take part in an airline partnership quarterly meeting. Also, having the opportunity to have my input in current and future Meridiana plans.
After joining the graduate scheme in September I have been working in my first placement for just over a month. I have joined the Markets for Europe and Rest of the World team, in the commercial department and safe to say the first month has absolutely flown by.
Before starting my placement, I felt a little nervous and unsure of exactly what to expect, but as soon as I joined the team everyone made me feel very much at home. There is a lot to learn when starting a new job and settling into the routine of working life can be tiring, but I’ve found that one month in I’m already starting to settle into the swing of things.
Avios is a complicated business so my first month has involved a lot of learning and getting to grips with how the company works. The graduate 8-day induction was a great way to ease us into the business and to give us an overview, but we have also learnt so much from getting stuck into our various placements.
In my role in the commercial department, I’m working with non-airline partners in France, Switzerland and Asian markets. My work so far has been hugely varied and very exciting. I have been given responsibility very quickly and plenty of opportunities to be creative, as well as to develop my commercial awareness and understanding of the financial side of the business. I’ve even been to Paris on my first business trip!
All in all, it has been a great first month at Avios and I’m looking forward to continuing to learn and improve in my role as the placements go on.
September we welcomed our 2017 intake of graduates, they have so far enjoyed a comprehensive, exciting 8 day induction complete with a trip to our Customer Contact Centre. They have learnt all about the customer journey and how we help our customers. Met all the leadership team and learnt about the different business departments. Our graduates come from very different universities, degree and work backgrounds but they all share a great passion for working for Avios and making a difference. They now have embarked on their first 6 month rotation within the business in various departments, check in every month to see what our graduates get up to!
The office environment in Avios is such that everyone is constantly planning their next adventure. Our meeting rooms are named after some of our most popular destinations, so you can stare at a picture of Antigua, imagining yourself sipping a cocktail with the sea lapping at your feet whilst discussing a partnership…
As you can imagine, it is a very difficult office environment to be in when you are desperate to go away, so after saving up enough of an Avios balance, I decided to head off to Malaysia. It was easy to save up quickly, between Amex BA Exec Club credit card and the Estore (which you can use to collect Avios at over 1,000 stores, at anywhere from ASOS to Expedia), I had the required Avios. Luckily, I easily found availability but it changes often so is worth checking regularly.
We flew in to Kuala Lumpur, and then used my concessions to catch a flight with Malaysian to Langkawi. Langkawi was very beautiful; a combination of jungle, beach and activities. We went on a mangroves tour, swam in the sea, explored the local villages and went to the Sky Bridge. We then spent a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur exploring the city. It was a wonderful week of sun and I am now excitedly saving up for the next trip…Hawaii and Japan at Christmas.