Success Story – Neitjah Yasa16 July 2020
Why did you choose a course at NZST?
I chose to study at NZST because it was the only Travel and Tourism school that offered Flight Attending as a course on it’s own. I wanted to be a flight attendant and learn about what it takes to become one.
How has your course at NZST helped you in your current role or career?
The major contributing factor to my success so far, was the great trainers we had at NZST. My trainer had 10 plus years’ experience working with Air New Zealand, and she played a major part in helping me get through the recruitment process. Giving me tips and guidance specific to the Air New Zealand experience, as every airline has different requirements and are looking for certain things.
What were some of the highlights?
I was voted as the class representative and was known throughout the TAFA classes as the class clown. I would always try to get our class involved with others, and share activities so that we weren’t a segregated TAFA classes. Just to create more of a giant family feel, as we were all studying the same thing. A lot of the students in my class felt comfortable with asking me for help because I was one of the most intelligent students in my class. It made me feel happy that others found comfort in asking me for support, help with assignments or just needed some guidance.
Where are you working now? And what is your role?
I am currently working for Air New Zealand as an international Longhaul Flight Attendant.
What does your work involve?
My job is to ensure the safety of the passengers, crew and aircraft. Flying long haul with Air New Zealand means that we predominantly travel to our American destinations, which is inclusive of: Los Angeles, San Franciso, Houston, Vancouver (Canada), Hawaii and Buenos Aires (South America). We also fly to the Pacific Islands and Australia. Being an Air New Zealander means that we take pride in wearing our uniform and showing the world we are from. The koru expresses our culture and we welcome everyone onboard saying “Kia Ora” and “Ma te Wa” which is “hello” and “see you again” in Maori.
What did your training at Air New Zealand help you with?
My training involves learning how to fight fires and perform CPR as well as basic first aid training whilst being 38,000 feet in the air. I know how to identify bombs and move them to the least risk bomb location, so as to do the least damage should it go off in the aircraft. I have learnt basic survival skills for land and water as well as how to evacuate an aircraft in emergency situations in order to get everyone off board as quickly and safely as possible. I have had security training to learn how to defend myself, our flight crew and passengers as well as handcuff someone onboard if need be. I have been taught how to handle people of different cultures as well as unruly passengers. I have learnt to be punctual as well as meet strict uniform grooming standards.
What is the most exciting aspect of your job?
The most exciting aspect of my job is visiting different countries every week. Being able to explore new places, cultures, food, and so much more. Before each roster comes out I never know which countries I will be selected to go to. I have had so many experiences whilst travelling in this job. I have been to the top of Blackcomb mountain in Whistler, Canada and felt fresh snow. I have done the Bali swing in Ubud and met some monkeys. I’ve been to the NASA Johnson Space Centre and been to rodeos and learnt how to line dance in Houston, Texas. I have gone to Universal studios in Singapore and met some real life Transformers. I’ve been underground in the tunnels of the Vietcong used in the Vietnam war as well as visited historic museums. I’ve been to the Sydney Opera House and done snorkeling in the waters of Rarotonga. I have done some incredible things during my layovers in other countries that makes it so much more exciting than just a job.
Did your course at NZST live up to your expectations?
There is so much to learn about flight attending, and it is my passion! I did feel as though the courses could involve a lot more flight attending content, rather than just in the last four weeks of the course. There is so much that goes into the role of becoming a flight attendant and it is not a job, it is a lifestyle. The main things I learnt from being at NZST was punctuality and grooming. These are requirements of the airline that are of upmost priority. It was good to feel the pressure on these elements within the classroom as it reflects the workforce. The values of NZST being “work ready, world ready” is definitely the most unique learning aspect that definitely shows within the classroom. It exceeded my expectations of getting students prepared to go into work. Although I applied for Air New Zealand on my own the school does offer opportunities with Jetstar, Jetconnect and Virgin Australia as well as regional cabin crew with Air New Zealand, which is definitely the best way to start and become cabin crew. Having trainers with flight attendant experience is another amazing factor because they teach from their personal experiences which puts the learning into a realistic perspective.
What were the highlights of your course?
The highlights of my course was definitely my class. We created a close bond and I am still very close with my friends I have made at NZST. Ever since leaving NZST, my friends and I have motivated and helped each other with guidance on becoming flight attendants. From five of my friends who went to NZST, one works for AIR NZ shorthaul, one for Quantas Longhaul, one for Virgin Australia shorthaul and one is currently undergoing the recruitment process for Jetstar and Air New Zealand. We have all contributed by motivating each other to get to where we are today.
What is one of the lessons you’ve learnt through your experience to date?
One of the main lessons I’ve learnt through my experence as Cabin crew is independance and working with different people/cultures. It is not a normal work environment where you go to work and see the same people every day. Every single flight you will meet nine other flight attendants that you have not met before. You are expected to work as a team to deliver the best service onboard for our passengers, not knowing how they work or what personality they have. This is what makes the job interesting as you learn about your team during the flight. Sometimes when you get to the destination and have a layover the crew have their own plans. This means you are expected to be independent and look after yourself in other countries or get out of your comfort zone and try do things in places you have not been to before. This was hard to get used to at first as sometimes the unknown is scary, but once you learn to be independant then the job becomes easier and more exciting.