Product Coordinator, ATS Pacific/AOT New Zealand
Bachelor of International Tourism Management
Every day brings a new challenge, says Danielle Barham who now works as a product coordinator at ATS Pacific and AOT New Zealand, the inbound operations division of Helloworld Travel Limited.
“My job involves an array of different responsibilities. We communicate with our key agents in Europe, the United Kingdom and the USA to perform price matches, inform them of changes to product offerings, and deliver exceptional customer service. A significant portion of my role involves liaising with our New Zealand suppliers to source new product offerings for our agents.
“The part of my job I enjoy the most is the wide range of tourism products I get to learn about, and the suppliers throughout New Zealand I work with. I have the opportunity to attend various trade shows and will soon have my first familiarisation trip to Rotorua to experience the accommodation and activities the destination has to offer.”
Creating great graduates
She appreciates that AUT degrees combine real-life industry skills with academic theory, says Danielle who completed a Bachelor of International Tourism Management with a minor in business management.
“In the final semester of our degree, all students had to complete 12 weeks of workplace experience in the tourism industry. This involved 300 hours of work in an organisation, in addition to completing a project and attending workshops and supervision sessions with an academic supervisor.
“This experience was particularly valuable to me as I was able to make a multitude of networking connections and demonstrate my diligent working abilities. I was fortunate enough to be offered a full-time position within the company after I completed my placement. If I hadn’t had the opportunity to get my foot in the door through the AUT workplace experience, I wouldn't be in the position I am today.”
Experiences like this equip AUT students with the practical skills, accompanied by a wide knowledge base, to competently begin their future careers, Danielle says.
Highlights and achievements
Being able to travel to Hong Kong was the highlight of her time at AUT.
“I loved having the opportunity to travel to Hong Kong with a fantastic group of students and lecturers for a study trip. We were able to be immersed in a culture that was entirely new to me, and I got to experience being a tourist in one of Asia’s best known destinations.”
She was humbled to be invited to be a peer mentor in her second and third year, Danielle says.
“I enjoyed having the opportunity to help other students succeed in their studies. I believe the mentoring skills I acquired during my time as a peer mentor taught me patience and empathy, which are essential skills I can implement throughout my personal and professional life.”