Representatives of leading UK tour operator AC Group dusted off their books and headed back to school on Friday 15 March. Joint CEO Rob Russell was joined by the group’s Senior Services Contracts Manager, Alice Hye, in answering questions about the industry from Year 10 and 11 students at Langley Park School for Girls in Kent.
The students who met with AC Group are working towards their Level 1 and Level 2 BTEC Tech Awards in Travel and Tourism, a hands-on qualification which is often run alongside their GCSEs, allowing students an insight into the industry and providing a foundation for further vocational or academic study.
Said Alice Hye (pictured second from left), a former pupil at Langley Park School for Girls and winner of the Tomorrow’s Leader awards at the 2018 everyWoman in Travel Awards: “Having the opportunity to return to my old school and share my experiences with today’s students is exciting. Tourism is a key industry in many different countries and provides opportunities for all sorts of skill sets and personalities to flourish. Being able to help the students learn in an interactive way, giving them the opportunity to ask anything they want in an open forum, will hopefully inspire them in their studies and show what an exciting industry it is to work in.”
Rob Russell, joint CEO of AC Group (pictured third from left), also has a personal connection to the school with his daughter a student there.
“Langley Park School has a stellar reputation for providing its students with confidence, real-world skills and an education that gives them opportunities to explore further education, academia or the world of work,” said Russell.
“I’m used to answering questions in a board room but know from my own children that teenagers can be brutally honest and inquisitive so I’m looking forward to seeing what they throw at us! I just hope I can convey the rewards working in tourism brings – yes, it can be hard work but you have the opportunity to collaborate with different industries and organisations, meet people from all over the world and constantly learn new things.”
Stephen Crowther, Head of Travel and Tourism as part of the school’s Business Studies unit, welcomed the tour operator to the school.
“AC Group is a well-established business which has been growing over the last few years, suggesting it has a dynamic culture and certainly knows the ins-and-outs of the industry,” said Crowther.
“The opportunity to hear from experts working in tourism is exciting for our students, all of whom have been busy preparing questions and conducting research in a bid to learn as much as they can from our guest speakers. Tourism as a business is thriving, and I’m sure the visit from Rob and Alice will inspire our students’ hunger to learn and may even encourage a few job applications in the future.”