An International Relations student is flying high during a year-long internship at Heathrow Airport thanks to the work of the placements team at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU).
Travis Yearwood, 20, is four months into a placement with the internal communications team at Heathrow Airport’s head office in west London.
The placement involves Travis helping to share the internal company news to the 70,000 people employed directly or indirectly by Heathrow.
“That’s too many to communicate with individually so we get out to as many people as we can through phone apps, internal newspapers and magazines, ad screens and so on,” Travis explained.
He first found out about the opportunity through the work placements team at DMU and acknowledged the huge amount of help he got from them.
“It was a very gruelling process,” Travis said, “and they helped me at every stage, right from filling in the initial application form to helping me with my CV and covering letter.”
Travis got through the telephone shortlist stage, passed the online psychometric tests and was invited to Heathrow’s assessment centre for group interviews before being successfully appointed following individual interviews.
At every stage, placement co-ordinator Zul Muhammad and his team coached Travis, helping him practice and improve, and gave him guidance so that he stood out from the other applicants.
Travis said: “Without Zul and the placements office, I wouldn’t have got this fantastic opportunity, it’s that simple.
“They let me know when the internship came up in the first place and helped me with every little preparation talk.
“I’m very happy to have got the placement. I put in a lot of hard work and it was a bit of a struggle at times, getting to all my lectures, doing my essays and fitting in the preparation for this, but the placements team get 10-out-of-10 from me in the way they supported me.”
The internship is enhancing Travis’ core skills such as digital marketing but is also giving him experience in public affairs and policymaking.
“I have learnt a lot here at Heathrow, including new skills which I will be able to apply in the future,” he said. “They have really supported me to develop myself, including giving me a lot of responsibility, which I hadn’t expected.
“I cannot stress enough how amazing this has been.
“I also love my course and there are so many opportunities at DMU – you just have to go and grab them.
“With International Relations, I love the fact that I am studying current affairs and learning why things are the way they are. I’m loving being at Heathrow but I also can’t wait to get back to my course!”
Travis, who went to school at the Sir Christopher Hatton Academy in his home town of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, is an assessor for the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
He already holds the bronze and silver awards and is completing his gold award while at Heathrow.