It amazes me how many things I have achieved and experienced at Heathrow in just a year, both with projects and with my own personal development. I chose Heathrow because it was one of the only graduate schemes I applied to which offered a rotation across a business, rather than within a departmental area. After studying Human Sciences at university, I knew that I really needed the diversity in learning which I had experienced through that degree, to be reflected in my career as well. Heathrow’s offering of a structured learning programme, which would push me out of my comfort zone and allow me to develop in ways that I didn’t think I was capable of doing was what drew me in. There is so much to be involved in at Heathrow, not one day is the same, and I do genuinely feel like I am constantly growing both professionally and personally.
Through two placements I’ve worked on such a variety of projects. My first placement was in Security in Terminal 3, and I was involved in projects including working with the Development team and airlines to address the capacity issue and increase passenger numbers. I also worked with the security officers in implementing the 2019 Service plan in Security, which gave me experience with commercial teams and other terminal security teams as well. In my second placement I was in Expansion, and I owned projects to do with colleague engagement, including working with RADA Business to put on a series of engagement events for the whole of Expansion. Expansion is the biggest infrastructure programme that the UK has ever seen, so it’s a really exciting place to be working in, and you learn a lot from the colleagues around you and all their experiences.
Through projects, the support from my teams, the other graduates and my managers, I have managed to develop in so many ways. Initially, something which I really struggled with was my confidence and communication skills. However, being put in the position of leading on projects and having supportive managers who trust my decisions, this has allowed me to work on these behaviours. It is easy to get comfortable and stop stretching yourself, but at Heathrow it’s almost impossible to do that. This will benefit my future career as it means that I will have so many experiences to be able to draw on and talk about in interviews, and genuinely demonstrate times when I have had to use various leadership behaviours which employers look for.
The highlight of my journey so far would be organising Heathrow’s Annual Midnight Marathon. This is an annual fundraising event where colleagues run down the runway in the middle of the night. Although it was challenging at times, it was well worth it, as we raised the most money this year compared to the previous years (around £50, 000) and had 450 colleagues running down the runway together at midnight. It was a huge success and something I am very proud of being involved in.