Experience report of Vanessa Oehmann, tourism management trainee

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Vanessa Oehmann, I’m 22 years old, and started my dual vocational training in tourism management at the Hamburg Süd Travel Agency on August 1, 2016.

Why did you opt for the dual vocational training scheme at the Hamburg Süd Travel Agency?

I opted for the Hamburg Süd Travel Agency because it’s a sizeable company. There are different specialist departments here that you spend time in one after the other and this means you can get to know the individual types of travel at a deeper level.

Were your expectations met? What did you like especially?

My expectations were definitely met. Work in tourism management covers a large number of topics: for example, you learn something about climatic conditions, the service providers (hotels, car rental, air travel, insurance, etc.) and various types of travel, such as hiking, wellness, or luxury vacations. Since it’s a commercial occupation, the subject of accounting is also on the timetable at the vocational college. What also appeals to me very much is that we are taken seriously as apprentices and are entrusted with many duties.

What have you learned in the last year? Give us a few examples.

I was recently assigned to Cargo Ship Travel. The Hamburg Süd Travel Agency is one of the few providers of cargo ship travel. Since this kind of travel tends to be less well known, it was a lot of fun getting to know and selling the product.

Was there any moment when you felt you surpassed yourself?

Together with another apprentice, I was asked to help organize the Christmas party for all the travel agency staff. We took care of the decorations and putting them up and preparing the location. That was a lot of work, but a great success in the end!

Do you have any tips for interested students who might still be uncertain?

I can only advise anyone who’s still unsure to do an internship. Alongside the school internship, I took time during school breaks to check out different occupations. This is the way to get the best insights.