Rachel Shufflebotham and Jessica Krawiec joined Freedom Travel Group after catching the attention of senior Thomas Cook delegates while taking part in a panel debate about what the sector should be doing to nurture the next generation of travel talent.
The Manchester Metropolitan University tourism management graduates paid to attend the event in Sorrento last June themselves in a bid to learn more about the sector and build contacts.
They had previously taken part in ITT’s Future You initiative, which offers advice and networking opportunities to travel students looking to break into the industry. ITT chair Steven Freudmann and chair of ITT’s Education and Training committee, Claire Steiner, invited Shufflebotham and Krawiec to join the panel discussion to share their experiences.
Head of Freedom Kelly Cookes was impressed by what she heard from the graduates and encouraged them to apply for roles in the group’s Manchester-based team.
Following a successful interview process, they joined as operations coordinators, responsible for customer care and programme management.
Cookes said: “I’m really pleased that we could offer them suitable roles and help them to start the next stage of their journey in the industry.”
Shufflebotham added: “Jessica and myself were both determined to get into the tourism industry, which is why we decided to start networking to promote what tourism management graduates study and the issues we were facing when applying for graduate jobs and schemes.
“We certainly want to continue to promote the Future You scheme to help more graduates get into the industry and to promote the benefits of recruiting graduates.”
Steiner said: “I applaud Rachel, Jessica and Freedom for taking the initiative and look forward to following both of their careers.”