Where Are They Now: Rhiannon Simpson
16 November 2023
Taking the leap from school to college is big for anyone, but when it lands you in the career of your dreams it's a leap worth taking. Take it from Rhiannon Simpson, a former Heart of Worcestershire College (HoW College) Level 3 Travel and Tourism student who is now travelling the world, gaining experience and making people smile one holiday at a time.
After struggling with exams at school, Rhiannon knew that college was the right option for her and so decided to enroll on the Level 3 Travel and Tourism course at HoW Colleges All Saints campus in Worcester. During her course, Rhiannon learnt to be confident in everyday industry situations through her lessons and assessments and learnt skills such as group communication, computer skills, customer communication, work balance and her geography knowledge improved – which for her current job is very helpful.
Whilst completing her qualification, Rhiannon came to the conclusion that the practical/ open book exams were much more suited to her, and she found it enjoyable to be able to focus on one industry and the roles within it. So much so that she decided to stay within the travel industry and started an apprenticeship with Spires Travel, a travel agency located at HoW College's Worcester campus.
Within the first 12 months of the apprenticeship Rhiannon visited new countries, improved her customer service skills, moved to a more sales type role as opposed to a hospitality role and found a passion for discovering new places. She felt that the apprenticeship pushed her industry journey, gave her amazing travel opportunities as well as great connections within the travel industry and friends that she is still in contact with now.
When asked how the skills learnt at college allowed her to progress, Rhiannon said:
“College taught me a lot and I was lucky enough to have amazing lecturers with years of industry experience to pass on to me. This really helped me to build up my confidence and helped me get the jobs that followed. The course was a great starting point for me, especially as I chose to stay in the industry. The course itself also focused on the roles available to you within the industry when you leave which was helpful.”
So, where is Rhiannon now?
Rhiannon now works as a Travel Agent at Spires Travel Worcester and since completing her time at college has been travelling around Europe, done two winter ski seasons in Verbier, Switzerland and one summer season in France and has now got over two years of industry placement at Spires Travel.
Looking back on her journey, Rhiannon added:
“I didn’t ever think that my journey would lead to this role, however it is the most amazing industry to work in for loads of fun, laughs and of course, travelling!"