Khalid Elkhazmi is a graduate of London Met's Airline, Airport and Aviation Management BSc (Hons). We caught up with him recently to find out exactly how London Met helped him kick-start his career.
Where are you now?
I am currently working as a cargo adviser, within the cargo distribution and customer service department at Virgin Atlantic. My role includes facilitating customer requests and management of free-sale bookings. It also involves negotiating rates for ad-hoc bookings. This is a quite a varied and interesting role – one minute I could be quoting on a 10-tonne shipment of flowers cross-Atlantic, the next I could be booking a small envelope from Johannesburg to London. Dealing primarily with business-to-business queries, it is very interesting to see another side of an airline; behind the scenes, and far away from the passengers – the lifeline of any airline.
What's your typical day at Virgin?
Virgin Atlantic is a very fun and enjoyable company to be working for. Not only is my role very interesting and enjoyable, but the whole atmosphere is very positive at the Virgin head office, or VHQ as we call it. We have a huge open-plan office, and we all hot desk. The best part of this, of course, is meeting colleagues from the different departments and making friends across all the different teams. We're also quite well looked after – I have put on quite a lot of weight since starting here (I blame the doughnuts and sweets that are always shared across the office, whether it be because we are celebrating a birthday or just having fun – we very often run out of excuses for all these treats). We also have an onsite gym and we have our own 'well-being' team who try to look after our health for us.
How was the application process?
I applied online via the Virgin Atlantic website. I was then invited to an assessments day (like no other). It was very laid back and the recruiters were more interested in our personalities and how we got along as a team. This was then followed by individual one-to-one interviews. We did have a small scenario roleplay – I was asked the typical interview questions, why I want to work for Virgin Atlantic (who wouldn't though) – and I was also asked about my career goals. Virgin are very keen to progress their staff, and from day one, I was asked about where I would like to move to next. Learning and collaborating is highly encouraged here.
How has London Met helped you?
I don't believe I would have been able to get here without the support of the London Met family. My lecturers were very supportive and helped me reach my true potential. The careers and employability team also provided some very important workshops that I attended; they were all about interview techniques and how to make my CV shine. Funnily enough, on my first day I met a pilot who had actually studied at London Met quite a few years ago, he too told me about the support he got from London Met, which involved more than just academic knowledge. My lecturer Nick Coleman had worked for Virgin Atlantic in the past and he provided me with an insight into life at Virgin before I started, so I was sure this was the airline for me. Washington Mhangami, another London Met lecturer who had been an experienced pilot, fully understood the requirements of making a lasting impression at an interview (pilots having one of the most thorough interview processes of any profession). He too provided me with helpful tips and insights into landing the perfect airline job.