Ever since she was at school, Angelina Singh aspired to work for “New Zealand’s iconic airline”. She didn’t know how it would happen, but all the way through university she held onto the idea and as soon as she graduated, she got onto Air New Zealand’s radar by registering for any jobs coming up. A few months later, her dream came true.
Air New Zealand has earned an international reputation for the highest quality standards with top people who understand the importance of excellent service. Perhaps one of the reasons comes down to the organisation’s proactive staff development in ground operations: where employees train to gain the right levels of skill and knowledge and are awarded their ServiceIQ NZQA qualifications.
“Air New Zealand is New Zealand’s number one employer. You hear so many positive things and that makes you want to be a part of it,” says Angelina.
Today, at just 25-years-old, she’s worked her way up at Air New Zealand to become a Team Leader looking after 35 ground staff at Auckland Airport.
Thanks to ongoing on-job training, her career’s been flying higher and higher from the moment she joined her favourite company as a fledgling four years ago.
“I never thought I’d continue studying after university, but it’s irresistible when Air New Zealand offers so many opportunities to progress and gain NZQA qualifications and skills while we’re working.”
For Angelina, on-job training started with her first job as an Airline Assistant, followed by a Customer Services Assistant position, and continued as she upskilled into a higher-pressure role with Service Control, where the airline’s mission-critical trouble-shooting happens.
“It’s at the heart of our operation. When there’s an overload, cancelled flights, missed connections, seat changes, Service Control fixes all these problems to make it easier for passengers and crew. It really exposed me to everything that happens at airports. If you’re doing a great job in Service Control, your operation will run smoothly.”
The role spurred her to take her career further, and she was accepted for a place on Air New Zealand’s Emerging Leaders programme. It runs over three months and successful employees gain the know-how to be able to lead a team.
In four years with the airline, Angela has gained the NZ Certificate in Business (First Line Management) – Level 3, and the NZ Certificate in Aviation (Airline Check-in) – Level 3. She also holds a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Management from AUT.
Compared to university study, she’s found a lot to recommend workplace training which she says is more practical because you can apply what you learn on the job.
“You also have the huge benefit of being around experts who are teaching you and are there to support you as well. It’s also encouraging to be around others who are learning too. It’s not just you and a text book. Learning together is very different to studying alone.”
Everyone knows the financial struggles of being a student so the advantages of earning as you learn are attractive to Angelina who is saving to buy a house with help from her KiwiSaver.
“On-job, you’re getting the salary and a qualification. You can also enjoy a social life because you’ve got your work and study happening at the same time and in the same place.”
Her role is to lead the team to influence the customer’s journey, making sure they have a positive experience from when they arrive at the airport to when they depart for their flight.
From assisting customers at check-in, departure and boarding, to helping customers who require extra assistance, and children travelling on their own.
“Customers and the people I work with are the most satisfying part of my role. It’s great to finish a shift and have that feeling that comes from knowing you’ve given it your all. It’s also the opportunity that Air New Zealand provides. They are all about progressing internal candidates to fill roles where they can.”
Travel is another great attraction of the job. So far, she’s enjoyed holidays to the USA, Europe, Japan, Philippines, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia and the Pacific.
But Air New Zealand is not interested in people who only want to work for the perks, says Angelina who is involved in recruiting staff. A genuine passion for customer service is the most important quality.
She still has many more career goals on her horizon.
“I’d like to be a Passenger Services Manager or an Airport Manager off-shore somewhere busy like Los Angeles. It would be such a great challenge because there’d be so much competition with all the other airlines that run out of LAX.”
Her dream flight continues.
For more information, please contact ServiceIQ on 0800 863 693 or email intel@ServiceIQ.org.nz