Flight attendant retrains at WelTec to find new employment pathways

Published on

At the beginning of 2020, Long Shi was happily enjoying his career as a flight attendant, working on long-haul international flights, until it became apparent that Covid-19 was causing massive disruptions in the travel industry. Long had to quickly reconsider his career options.

Long Shi 1Long Shi - Former Air NZ Flight Attendant now WelTec IT Student

“I had been working very hard for five years when Covid-19 hit, so I thought it was a good opportunity to take some time off before I started looking for a new job,” explains Long. “But after just one day relaxing at home I quickly realized that it was not my style to ‘do nothing’! So I started to research options to retrain and do something I had always been interested in.

“I called WelTec to see if I could register for their Bachelor of Information Technology which had classes set to begin at the start of the very next week and they said - yes!”

Even before the pandemic hit, Long had considered the range of career pathways in air travel, and recognised numerous opportunities in IT.

“It was clear over recent years that the airline industry had moved digital in a major way,” says Long. “Customers book flights from their mobile phones, use electronic boarding passes, and you can even order your coffee in the lounge via an app! And I could also see internal processes increasingly become automated - and this really inspired me to study IT,” says Long.

After five years of working full-time as a flight attendant, he knew the transition from work to study life would come with some challenges!

But during his research, Long found that WelTec ticked all the boxes, with varied coursework options, hands-on learning, and excellent tutors to help him on his journey back into study.

“I am really enjoying the programme but I have found getting back into study more difficult than I had expected. Sitting in a classroom all day and completing assignments is using a completely different part of my brain than the full-time customer facing work that I have been doing. The tutors understand this and have been incredibly patient with me, they have really helped me adapt to the student role.”

WelTec and Whitireia Bachelor of Information Technology is a three-year course where students can choose a major endorsement including software development, cybersecurity, and networking and infrastructure to name a few. It is a booming industry with many exciting opportunities.

“I am leaning towards going into programming and software development as it feels like there are bright career prospects in that area. Almost every company is going digital, and with that comes the need for software development. I like that there is such massive variation in jobs, and such high demand for workers in the field. It is also comforting to know that you don’t have to physically be in a certain place to do the job. Who knows, maybe I will get back into the airline industry when it picks up again!”