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Latest News

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Freedom of Choice: Future You Helps Grads Launch Careers in Travel

Manchester Metropolitan University graduates Rachel Shufflebotham and Jessica Iona Krawiec have begun their careers in travel after ITT’s Future You helped them secure their very first roles in the industry at Freedom Travel Group.

ITT’s flagship student event has been held at World Travel Market as part of the Careers in Travel Day since 2009. The leading conference of its kind, it offers those students looking to embark on a career in travel the chance to gain hints and tips from leading industry figures into how to succeed and make the most of all the opportunities the sector has to offer, as well as the chance to network and speak with prospective employers.

In 2016, Rachel and Jessica attended an ITT Future You – On the Road event at the Manchester Metropolitan Campus’ ITT Centre of Excellence. The travel and tourism students went on to attend the Future You conference at WTM that same year, where they sought the advice of Claire Steiner, Chair of ITT’s Education & Training Committee and HR/Talent professional, as to the best approach to securing a career in their sector of choice once their studies were completed.

After graduating with honours, and mindful of the lessons learned from Future You about networking and developing their own personal brand, Rachel and Jessica registered for the 2017 ITT Conference in Sorrento at their own expense. Their mission? To learn more about the industry as well as establish key contacts that might help them begin their careers in travel.

Inspired, Claire Steiner and ITT Chairman Steven Freudmann set about designing a main stage presentation to capitalise on Rachel and Jessica’s attendance and ensure that their experiences of the ‘other side’ of the travel recruitment story were shared with the wider industry.

‘The Generation Game and War for Talent’ saw Rachel and Jessica join an esteemed panel of industry leaders to explore whether the industry is doing enough to encourage the next generation to choose a career in tourism.

The lively debate offered a refreshing look at the challenges and opportunities for the travel industry in the employment arena, asking how travel companies can ensure a successful future for the sector by attracting emerging talents that will ultimately become the travel industry leaders of the future.

The debate proved one of the most well-received sessions at the Conference, in no small part due to Rachel and Jessica’s insightful contribution. Delegates included representatives from Freedom Travel Group , who subsequently encouraged Jessica and Rachel to apply for roles in the Group’s Manchester-based team.

Following a successful interview process, Rachel and Jessica have now joined Freedom Travel Group as Operations Coordinators responsible for customer care and programme management.

Rachel said: “Jessica and I were both determined to get into the tourism industry, which is where 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. Thank you to the ITT and Freedom Travel Group for the opportunity. We certainly want to continue to promote the Future You scheme to help more graduates get in to the industry and to promote to the industry the benefits of recruiting graduates.”

Kelly Cookes, Head of Freedom Travel Group said: “We were really impressed by both Rachel and Jessica during the panel debate and are always looking to work with talented individuals. 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.

Concludes Claire Steiner: “With increasing competition to secure the best talent of the next generation, the ITT’s Education and Training Committee are working hard, through initiatives such as Future You, to give students and companies opportunities to showcase themselves.   Jessica and Rachel prove that with the right attitude and determination, they have made a fantastic start in their careers.  I applaud them and the Freedom Travel Group for taking the initiative – and we look forward to following their future careers, which are certainly bright.” 

-    END

Notes to Editors
ITT Future You

ITT shows its commitment to careers and education by recognition of good practice, student awards, consultancy and much more.  ITT runs an Education & Training Committee chaired by ITT Board Director Claire Steiner. Claire represents ITT on external education/ industry bodies and organises student events on behalf of ITT, such as the hugely popular 'Future You' seminar.

ITT Future You has been held at WTM since 2009 as part of the Careers in Travel day. The leading event of its kind in the UK, Future You provides students with the opportunity to hear from high profile industry figures about their careers and hear their hints and tips for success first hand. Attendees also have the opportunity to network and speak with a number of organisations actively looking to engage with them.

Following the success of the event, Future You – On the Road events take place throughout the academic year at a number across the country, hosted by ITT Centre of Excellence universities.

For details of all upcoming events and how to get involved, please visit

Published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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