How do I Start a Career at the Airport?
I am in my second year at Hadlow Animal Management College, and want a career at an airport like Gatwick in handling or transferring animals abroad.
Please can you tell me if there are any courses I can do after my course finishes next July when I will have my 2 year animal diploma in animal management. How do I start a career at the airport?
The diploma you are currently studying should provide an excellent basis on which to build your career with animals.
There are further courses available to you should you decide to continue with your studies; a degree in Animal Management would be a logical progression, but do consider any related subject that interests you.
You do not mention if you want to specialise in any specific area, such as rare and exotic species, agricultural animals, domestic pets, horses, dogs and so on. If you have any specialist experience of particular species, or have done specific practical work in the care of animals, mention this when approaching would-be-employers.
Remain as flexible as possible when seeking job opportunities! Although you mention Gatwick, would you be able to work at Heathrow or Luton?
If several companies have your details on file they may offer you work with animals that is not necessarily your ideal job to begin with. However, it is sometimes better to go for the experience and get a foot in the door; the ideal job might then crop up anyway. Likewise, if you are able to spend some time seeing how quarantine kennels, pet transport companies and other related jobs are carried out, the experience will be in your favour.
Use any contacts you have.
To find out about relevant employment opportunities at Gatwick, I recommend that you first send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org stating your interest in working there and include your name, age, contact details, experience and qualifications. If you are able to offer the addition of references from tutors and/or employers, do so.
You could also download an application form from the Animal Transport Association at www.aata-animaltransport.org
DEFRA has an International Animal Health Division. Their Import Team is based in Chelmsford (01245 358383) The RSPCA and Pet Travel Agents (Animal Aircare at the Animal Reception Centre, Gatwick, 01293 555580)may also be able to offer specialist career advice and be interested to hear from you.
I recommend that you send emails to all of them in advance-then you may have a job to go to next July! Hope this helps. Good luck with your career.