Soaring Beyond The Conventional: My Journey From Cabin Crew To Degree Apprentice
3 weeks ago

From serving passengers at 30,000 feet to recruiting early careers across the UK, my degree apprenticeship has allowed me to soar in a new way!

At 18, while most of my friends were packing their bags for university, I made a different choice and packed my bags for a new, untraditional journey. Despite doing well in my A-levels, the conventional university route never felt right. The fear of missing out pushed me into pursuing a degree, but deep down; I knew it wasn't my path. On results day, I deferred my offer, and I decided to follow my passion for travel, taking a leap of faith into the unknown world of being a cabin crew.

London Gatwick became my new home as I started my aviation career. What I initially thought would be a fun "gap year" soon became a fantastic three-year adventure. This "gap year" took me all over Europe, eventually landing me on the sunny island of Mallorca, which I was lucky to call home.

Looking back, I'm grateful I chose to step off the standard path. I was filled with so much worry time, but the experience taught me that sometimes the most worthwhile experiences come from embracing the unknown. Taking that leap as an 18-year-old led me to places I'd only dreamed of, something the university route couldn't have provided me.

After three years of traveling across Europe as cabin crew, I felt ready for the next stage in my career. However, as I scanned copious job ads, I quickly realized that many positions required a degree—something my time in the skies hadn't provided. Even the most junior roles felt out of reach. That is, until I came across the concept of degree apprenticeships—an opportunity to learn while you earn; what more could you want?

The application process was even more challenging as we were at the peak of COVID-19 lockdowns, which introduced the era of virtual interviews, makeshift at-home offices and a whole new way of recruiting. With lockdowns finally lifted, I lifted the phone to hear I had landed a place on BP's P&C
degree apprenticeship program! As my start date loomed, packing up my life in Mallorca felt strangely reminiscent of my decision at 18 to become cabin crew: a mix of nerves and excitement for a new opportunity.

My apprenticeship journey has been nothing short of incredible. Over the last four years, I have gained a first-class honours degree and made many amazing friends, all while gaining hands-on HR experience. A degree apprenticeship combines everything: the education at university, the experience of a job, and the social side of being part of a fantastic community of young people. For many of us at 18, university seems like the only next step. I hope my story demonstrates that there are multiple paths to success. Embracing a job and an apprenticeship allowed me to achieve my goals in a way that works for me, showing that there is a path for everyone. If you're at a crossroads, remember that unconventional routes can lead to extraordinary destinations.

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