Graduate Sarah credits lecturers' industry knowledge for career take-off

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Date: 20th Feb 2019

BA (Hons) Airline and Airport Management graduate Sarah Clarke has credited the industry insight provided by her lecturers as one of the reasons she has made a flying start to her career by landing a job at British Airways.

Sarah gained a 2:1 in 2018 and is now working in Product Delivery Support in Revenue Management at the world-famous airline, ensuring the airline’s operations run smoothly and deliver revenues targets.

Sarah also has a role as Revenue Management Ambassador at British Airways and returned to Bucks with colleague Michael Keep to speak to current students in the Department of Travel and Aviation to give an introduction to Revenue Management and the airline's next recruitment campaign.

Sarah Clarke
"I love my job," said Sarah. "From the age of 15 I knew I wanted to work for British Airways and I have now been working here for nine months and every day is just as exciting as my first. I still can’t believe I've made it!

"My course at Bucks covered a range of subjects that provided me with a solid foundation of knowledge about the airline industry. When it came to working in industry this made the transition a lot easier and it also provided me with plenty of confidence.

"Having lecturers that have previously worked in aviation was fantastic because they were able to provide us with real knowledge and an idea of what it is really like, rather than what may be regarded as simply teaching from a textbook. As a student this made me feel confident that what I was learning was truly valuable and would aid my career."

Sarah Clarke, Francesco Ragni, and Michael Keep
Sarah said she was keen to emphasise the range of careers people can pursue in an airline.

“I think the aviation industry still is very much stereotyped, with everyone thinking of the pilots, airport staff, and maybe engineers,” she said.

“You would never think of the teams of people working behind the scenes and just how much goes in to running an airline.

“No matter your profession, whether it’s in sales, marketing, public relations, IT, finance, law, or many others, you can work in those for an airline.

“It is also fantastic to see how many women we have working at British Airways, as the industry can still seem very much like a man’s world. British Airways does a lot of work to promote women in aviation.”

Sarah Clarke at work at British Airways
Speaking about her role at British Airways, Sarah added: "My main objective is to support the function of the Revenue Management department and to ensure it operates smoothly. I manage a range of initiatives in the Product Delivery area of Revenue Management, supporting the function of the Revenue Management department, fixing any issues British Airways or agents have. I provide consultancy to all teams within Revenue Management and other departments.

“I do this using a range of systems to code what is required. One example of what I do would relate to every British Airways fare you see on sites such as ba.com or Expedia, where I would code parts of that fare such as the penalties for changing the name on the booking, the carrier-imposed fees (taxes), and many other conditions.

“In five years’ time I would love to still be working for British Airways and the goal would be to work in commercial operations. On a very basic level the role of this team is looking after all our aircraft 24 hours before departure to the moment of push-back, including any disruption so, equally, if I could make it to team leader that would be the icing on the cake!”

Phil Wood, Head of School, Aviation and Security, said : “We were delighted to welcome Sarah back to Bucks to share her knowledge, experience and insights with our students.

“British Airways is at the leading edge as an airline and employer and Sarah’s success and ambition are a great credit to her and the positive approach to aviation careers that our course teams develop in our students. 

“We are very proud of her success and all of us really appreciate Sarah taking the time to share it and inspire our aspiring aviation graduates.”

"Airlines are complex organisations and to work there successfully it’s really important to have specific knowledge on aviation and a wider understanding of their business” said BA (Hons) Airline and Airport Management Course Leader Francesco Ragni.

“Sarah is a great example of how our graduates leave our university with a well-balanced mix of business skills and industry knowledge that makes them immediately employable by companies such as British Airways, in complex and critical business tasks.”

Picture captions: Sarah Clarke outside Bucks New University and working at British Airways.

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