This is it…

Introducing Laura Hampton: one week to go before joining the TUI family

And so I find myself here.  One week to go.  One week to gather together everything I’ll need for the next three months.  One week to see my friends and say my goodbyes.  One week to find a place to live.  One week from now, I’ll be getting started on a journey which could shape my career and take me to amazing places. And I can’t wait!

My name’s Laura, I’m 25 years old and I’m lucky enough to be part of the TUI Travel Specialist and Activity Sector Graduate Scheme 2011 intake.  It still doesn’t quite seem real; after all the assessments, all the interviews, all the tests, I still can’t quite believe that I am one of only six people to actually get the position.  Happy happy happy…

When I first read about the grad scheme, I was sure something was missing from the description. In my mind (and that of my equally excited housemate Alex), there was no way everything on offer could come without a price.  But try as we might to find the downside to the job, we couldn’t.  It really is the dream position – and it’s my job!

I absolutely love to travel and the travel industry really excites me. I love learning about other cultures and experiencing their world. I love how holidays are so special and how everyone has their list of places they’d love to see. I love seeing the happiness travel brings and the very personal ways we choose to experience it. I can’t wait to learn more about the industry and to do so whilst working for such a hugely prestigious company.

I’m feeling a little nervous though too.  What if I can’t live up to the expectations of my superiors?  What if, for all the preparation I’ve tried to do, I’m not prepared enough?  What if, and I know this is hugely unlikely, I simply don’t like the job?

I know that my nerves are unfounded.  I’ve worked really hard for this and I know that this is the right time for me to really make my mark and carve myself a position where I can become the expert and really add value to the company.

I’ve been working for nearly fifteen years now, having started my working life with the early mornings and physical hardship of the Sunday morning paper round.  Since then, I’ve worked hard to progress in every role I do and to become the best I can be in each position.  From the Morrisons Café to customer service and retentions for a large telecoms provider and even packing parachutes for skydivers, I’ve taken from every role the good and the bad so I can better understand how to improve myself.

I think all of my previous jobs will have provided me with important skills for my new role, but I also believe life experience and personality will be key in helping me to develop.

So, how will a skydiver with medals at National level, an inability to remember films even when I saw them recently and a love for cheese and port do in the world of TUI?  I’ll be blogging about my experiences – the highs and the lows – on the TUI blog and via my own blog so keep following for more…

Categories: Laura | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “This is it…

  1. Harriet Brine

    Hi Laura! I’m currently in my 2nd year of University and I was wondering if I could ask you some questions about the graduate scheme from your perspective?


  2. Hi Harriet,

    Absolutely, happy to help in any way I can. I think this blog gives you a good insight into the grad scheme and the kind of things we get up to. It’s also worth taking a look at this presentation which outlines the scheme in more detail:

    Hope that helps. Feel free to post any more specific questions you have and I (and the other grads) will be happy to help where we can.

    Best of luck,


    • Harriet Brine

      Thanks Laura! That was helpful to read! I was wondering what, in your opinion, would be the best thing to do with my time before applying? What kind of travelling should I be doing and where should I be going? What prepared you best for this job? I keep reading about it and it does sound too good! I just want to do the best I can to prepare me!


  3. Hi Harriet,

    To be honest with you, we’ve all come from such varied backgrounds that I really struggle to see a pattern in the selection process. I guess the main thing we all have in common is that we’re all very driven and ambitious but in terms of common themes in our backgrounds, it’s difficult to say.

    Take a look at the Who We Are page as that might give you some insight into what we were all doing before we were accepted onto the scheme. Personally, I’d been working for a few years since graduating in 2008, first in skydiving then in social media/SEO. I’d also done various work experience roles within media and have done some other jobs in the past, all of which I felt gave me a good breadth of experience.

    But, like I said, there’s no common theme to any of us so I can’t suggest the best way to spend your time. The best I can do is say do what makes you happy and what you’re passionate about – if you can then come into the interview process with passion, enthusiasm and drive, you’ll be fine I’m sure.

    Also, take a look at the TUI website and get to know the brand – try to think about how you fit into the brand values and what areas you’re interested in. If you can show knowledge about the company and the travel industry, that can’t be a bad thing 🙂

    Hope that helps!


  4. Deborah Grieve

    I can only really second what Laura has said. The only common theme between us all is a conscious drive for success. The best thing I found throughout the process was to be myself, if you’re right for the job they’ll notice. And yes brushing up on your TUI/travel industry knowledge won’t go amiss! Good luck!

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