As part of ABTA’s ongoing work to create meaningful connections between universities and colleges, their students, and the travel industry, ABTA has set up an initiative inviting each of our Education Partners to put forward an “ABTA Regional Student Representative” with a passion for the travel and tourism industry.
Each ABTA Regional Student Representative will have regular contact with ABTA’s Head Office team and be partnered with a local ABTA Member or Partner, allowing them to gain valuable insight into the inner workings of the industry from experienced tourism professionals and act as a key point of contact between their education provider and the travel industry.
As well as receiving training about ABTA and attending ABTA regional meetings to hear about the key issues facing the industry, they will also be tasked with making sure their fellow students are aware of volunteering, placement or employment opportunities with ABTA Members, and that their institution’s career days and guest lecture opportunities are promoted to ABTA Members in their region.
ABTA Regional Student Representatives will also take part in facilitated discussions about their course content with their local ABTA Member, to build understanding between their university or college and the needs of local travel businesses and to ensure that the skills and knowledge they are developing matches up with the changing needs of the travel sector.
We are immensely grateful to our Education Partners and our ABTA Members for taking the time to mentor so many students. If any ABTA Members are interested in working with students in their region, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lisa Gorton at Leeds Beckett University talks about the benefits of the ABTA Regional Student Representatives scheme.
Alisha Cesa – ABTA Regional Representative for Lincoln University, mentored by Dave Pope, Not Just Travel
“My name is Alisha Cesa and I am currently in my second year studying BA International Tourism Management at the University of Lincoln. Travel and tourism are something I’ve been passionate about since I was 16 and studied it from GCSE to now. Before coming to the University of Lincoln I worked in the industry mainly as a travel agent for four years, so I experienced a general understanding of ABTA from a working perspective. I applied to be the Regional Student Representative to delve more into ABTA and learn about different aspects of the tourism industry as I love travelling.”
Jack Rose – ABTA Regional Representative for Bournemouth University, mentored by Andrew Baldwin, Carnival Group
"Hi, I’m Jack, I am in my final year at Bournemouth University for my undergraduate degree in Tourism Management. Recently I have returned from my placement within Millennium Hotels and Resorts which has given me great insight into the business side of the hotels sector especially the rebuilding of the team and brand post pandemic as well as many opportunities to integrate with operational departments on varying secondments within my employment.
I applied to be an ABTA Regional Student Representative to put myself out there within the tourism industry and apply both the knowledge and skills I’ve learnt on my course in a practical setting, specifically by having the opportunity to explain more about the course and skills I have as it helps to develop to improve awareness. Tourism Management is more niche compared to other university courses therefore ABTA Members (potential employers for many graduates) may be unaware of the specifics of the course and what a student/graduate could bring studying tourism. Furthermore, being in the position to promote to students ABTA guest lectures and placement opportunities that may arise is valuable since opportunities after graduation are extremely competitive."
Armando Trujillo – ABTA Regional Representative for College of Haringey Enfield and North East London (CONEL)
"Hi I am Amando Trujillo. I am currently studying for a Level 3 Travel and Tourism at the College of Haringey Enfield and North East London. I feel confident about my future because the college provides me all the tools and skills in order to go on and succeed in my professional life. We took a trip to World Travel Market and during this trip I talked to many professionals in the travel and tourism industry and they helped and guided me towards a job that would lead me into a career path I much preferred and connected to. Initially I wanted to become a commercial pilot, however, I am now more interested in working on the ground within an airline. When I first joined Travel and Tourism I did not expect to learn as much as I have now and I did not think I was going to be guided towards my dream job. During the past couple of months, I have learnt that the travel and tourism industry is far more complex than just how you travel to and from a destination. I now know how much the Travel and Tourism sector affects economies and the impact it has on residents of the destinations."
Keely Benfield – ABTA Regional Representative for Cardiff Metropolitan University, mentored by Kaye Clyne, Hays Travel.
"Hi, I’m Keely, I’m currently studying international tourism management in my second year at Cardiff Metropolitan University. My love for the travel and tourism industry began at a very young age, I’ve always enjoyed travelling the world and learning new things about each destination. As a result of my love for the industry I studied tourism at A-level and am broadening my understanding more through my degree. Working as an ABTA student rep introduces many opportunities and insights that can help me to develop further ready for my future career in the industry - for this reason and many more I am extremely grateful to have been selected for the role."
Brooke Evans – ABTA Regional Representative for Cardiff Metropolitan University, mentored by Kaye Clyne, Hays Travel.
"My name is Brooke and I am a second year student of International Tourism Management at Cardiff Metropolitan University. For as long as I can remember I've been fascinated not only by travelling but with the business behind it. I started doing A-levels and that's when I realised, I was missing out on studying something I was passionate about. So, it was then I went to Merthyr Tydfil College to study Travel and Tourism which really opened my eyes to all the opportunities out there within the sector. Being an ABTA representative is one of those opportunities I have been given to develop my skills, gain professional insight and ultimately, benefit my future career."
Susanne Martin – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Derby, mentored by Sue Foxall, Kinver Travel
"My name is Susanne Martin and I am studying International Tourism Management at the University of Derby. I have worked with ABTA as a Regional Student Representative since 2021 and believe that it is a wonderful initiative that promotes an active knowledge exchange between the industry and universities. I am currently doing a placement year at the German National Tourist Office, supporting the NTO in its goal to promote Germany as a travel destination abroad and increase inbound travel from the UK and Ireland. This placement allows me to get a fantastic insight into the company and its partnerships with a diverse range of stakeholders. I am involved in a variety of projects and rotate around different departments which helps me better understand how they all work together collaboratively. My responsibilities include conducting and evaluating market research, organising events as well as supporting meetings with our trade partners. The role is incredibly rewarding and supports my personal development by helping me identify my key strengths and skills as well as narrow down my and future career goals."
Ellie Ford – ABTA Regional Representative for Leeds Beckett University, mentored by Katie Rankin, Jet 2
"Hello, my name is Ellie Ford, and I am currently in my final year studying International Tourism Management at Leeds Beckett University. For as long as I can remember I have always had a love and passion for travelling and exploring new destinations and cultures. This in turn has made me want to have a career in the Tourism industry. I believe being an ABTA Student Representative will be a great opportunity for me, as it will give me a more in-depth view of the tourism industry workings and the Code of Conduct that all ABTA member companies have to adhere to. This exposure will greatly benefit my future career.
Simone Migliozzi – ABTA Regional Representative for London South Bank University, mentored by Paul Ollington, Travelbag
"Hello, my name is Simone Migliozzi and I am currently in my second year studying BA (Hons) Tourism and Hospitality management at London South Bank University. The management and the world of tourism have been part of me since I was a child. Being an ABTA Regional Student Representative is a huge opportunity to have a better understanding of what this industry has to offer and to learn skills and knowledge of tourism experts."
Emma Barwell – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Plymouth University, mentored by James Lawrence, Peregrine Risk Management
"Hello! My name is Emma Barwell, and I am currently a final year student at the University of Plymouth, studying BSc (Hons) Tourism Management. When I first heard that the university were looking for a student to become an ABTA Regional Student Representative, I was keen to get involved. This is because I knew it would be a great opportunity to gain a deeper insight into the tourism industry and network with businesses within the industry too. Throughout my time as an ABTA student representative, I hope to gain more experience and awareness of various aspects of the tourism industry, which in turn could benefit my future career."
Manoj Kolluri – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Plymouth, mentored by James Lawrence, Peregrine Risk Management
"My name is Manoj Kumar Kolluri from India studying MSc Hospitality and Tourism Management at University of Plymouth. I always loved traveling although I unfortunately I never traveled much untill now. But being an ABTA student representative is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable industry insights that I can use in my future career. It enables me to develop essential communication skills. I am looking forward to attend ABTA meetings and learning about the latest industry news. Also it is a great opportunity which makes sure that students are involved in important discussions about the future of the tourism industry. I firmly believe that this opportunity will help me to develop my skills and knowledge and help in learning even more about this incredible industry. I am looking forward to working with experienced tourism professionals and applying the knowledge I will gain throughout this initiative in my future career."
Jodie Munoz – ABTA Regional Representative for Sheffield Hallam University, mentored by Kelly Wooffitt, Thomas Cook
"Hello! My name is Jodie Munoz and I am currently a second year at Sheffield Hallam University studying International Tourism Management. I have always had a passion for travel due to having family working in the sector and more of a passion for tourism as I’ve gotten older. Before attending university I worked in the transport sector for tourism, mostly to do with coaches doing everything from cleaning, to sales to even putting together tours and liaising with other operators. I applied to be ABTA regional representative to broaden my knowledge and delve more into ABTA and the travel and tourism sector, not only that but I feel it is also a fantastic opportunity to liaise with the university too and other students on my course to discuss and deliver what is going on in the industry."
Jade Wang – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Surrey, mentored by Gemma Garvey and Giles Hawke, Cosmos
"I am Jade and I come from Taiwan. I am currently studying in my first year at the University of Surrey for my undergraduate degree in International Event Management. I applied to be an ABTA student rep because I am interested in tourism management very much, and most importantly, I love travelling! My passion lies in the travel industry and hopefully, I can plug up the precious experiences and interactions from learning from professionals in the industry. I believe that this opportunity will develop my critical and creative thinking skills, I just cannot wait to work with experienced professionals, and apply the insights I gain from this programme to my future career."
Dzhemile Bolgurova – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Surrey, mentored by Gemma Garvey and Giles Hawke, Cosmos
"Hello, my name is Dzhemile, and I am a final year Hospitality and Tourism Management student at University of Surrey. I am from Bulgaria but my passion for travel and learning brought me to the UK to pursue my degree. University of Surrey is a partnering organisation of ABTA and that is how I learned and applied for this opportunity. The role of a Student Rep is a great opportunity for me to work with industry experts and learn from them, as well as to develop my skills and knowledge of the sector."
Laura Yildiz – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, mentored by Helen Tustin, Wellbeing Travel
“I am currently a third year International Travel and Tourism Management mature student at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. As someone keen to continuously learn and develop my knowledge and skills within the sector, having the opportunity to work with, and represent industry experts ABTA is an honour that will benefit my development immensely. Working together to strengthen relationships between Travel and Tourism students and ABTA members will allow me to gain a wealth of experience and in-depth knowledge to further develop vital key skills important for the industry. To be selected as one of the first ABTA Regional Student Representatives is an absolute privilege, and I am excited to meet all the ABTA team and get started on this amazing opportunity.”
Adi Boran – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, mentored by Helen Tustin, Wellbeing Travel
"I am currently studying at level 5 in International Travel and Tourism Management at University of Wales Trinity Saint David as a mature student. Since I started university, I have always been keen to undertake as many experiences as I can and being presented with the opportunity to work alongside ABTA as a regional representative is something that will benefit me greatly for my future within the tourism industry. Developing my skills and knowledge is vital in order for me to grow and succeed in the industry, which is something I feel that working with ABTA would allow me to achieve. I am thrilled to be selected for this opportunity to represent ABTA and I am very excited to meet the team and get involved in all the responsibilities as part of my role."
Charlotte Penn – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Wolverhampton, mentored by Louise Winter – Midcounties Cooperative Travel
"Hi there! My name is Charlotte Penn, a year 2 student at the University of Wolverhampton, currently studying a BA (Hons) Tourism Management Degree. My tutor suggested there was an ABTA Regional Student Representative role available at the University, which I was excited to put myself forwards for, because this is a great opportunity to expand my networking skills within the travel/ tourism industry. I have previously worked in this sector before, and I'm keen for ABTA to expand my professional development skills, my love for travel, and potential future positions after graduating."
Eesha Kaur Logani – ABTA Regional Representative for the University of Hertfordshire – mentored by Caroline Heaton, Easyjet Holidays
"My name is Eesha Kaur Logani, and I am in my penultimate year of study at the University of Hertfordshire, majoring in BA Hons Business and Tourism. The tourism industry has always piqued my interest. For the first time, I met the ABTA team at my institution , and learning more about the organisation sparked my interest in the industry. Working with ABTA is now a tremendous thrill. This is an opportunity for me to not only broaden my professional knowledge and abilities but also to boost my personal growth by assisting me in identifying my main assets. I'm excited to meet the rest of the team and get to work."