Hello, my name is Ceyleigh Lyness and I always knew I wanted to work in travel.
I first applied for a job in the Llandudno Superstore as a Travel Advisor in 2013, unfortunately I was unsuccessful on that occasion. At the time I was completing my diploma in Travel and Tourism Level 3 in college and doing work experience in the college travel office. A year after I finished my diploma I saw that Llandudno were advertising for an apprentice.
I was hesitant to apply, as I had just completed two years of coursework and I thought I would be repeating myself. After a few days of serious thinking I decided to apply for the apprenticeship as I knew I wanted to work in travel and saw this as a foot through the door.
I was interviewed by the Deputy Managers of the store and a few days later the line manager called me and asked if i could go into store to meet her. The day after the meeting I was called and informed I had been successful and would be joining the team!
I was so excited as I knew this is what I had always wanted to do. I started as an apprentice in May 2014 and in the first year of my apprenticeship I experienced many amazing opportunities. I was nominated for Travel Advisor of the year and also Apprentice of the Year (I am very proud to have made it into the top 3).
I was also lucky enough to win a place on a educational trip to Goa which was absolutely fantastic! I couldn’t believe a company would give you such amazing incentives and opportunity to grow and expand our own personal knowledge.
I was also lucky enough to win a 7 night trip to Mauritius during our long haul promotional month (this was just one of the amazing incentives that were on offer to TUI employees). I also attended an Orlando Roadshow and won a Superfam trip to Florida all in the first 2 years of my apprenticeship!
In the second year of my apprenticeship I was much more confident with the brand and the company strategy and I knew this is definitely the job I wanted to be in long term.
I started taking more control of my own learning and went on various training and immersive days and attended Assistant Managers meetings for my development. I spoke to my managers about my personal development plan and they decided it would be good for me and my team to make me third person in charge.
This was a great development opportunity, as it gave me an insight into the manager’s job role and what it includes and what would be expected of me. At this time I was in the last few months of my apprenticeship and also third person in charge, so this really gave me the chance to work on my planning and organization skills.
I completed my apprenticeship in May 2016 and was taken on as a Travel Advisor in June 2016. A few weeks later an Assistant Manager’s position came up in a local store and with the support from my assessor and my colleagues I felt confident and prepared to apply for the job.
During my interview I had to prepare a presentation and I had to conduct a team huddle. I felt amazing after my interview and within 3 hours of my interview they phoned me and told me I had been successful and I would be starting immediately. I was so excited! I don’t think I would have come so far so quickly within the company if I hadn’t completed the apprenticeship first. They really are a great way of learning and having fun at the same time!
I learnt so much on my journey and I am glad I thought about the apprenticeship and applied! I have been nominated again for Travel Advisor of the year – just to be nominated is such a great achievement for me. Also, whilst I have been working in my new role my new store has won regional shop of the year. This was absolutely amazing to be apart of.
TUI is such a great company to work for and there is support across all areas to broaden and grow our people. I am lucky to have been an Apprentice, Travel Advisor to Assistant Manager all within the space of a few months and I absolutely love my job and the people I work with.