Rep Story from Children’s Rep – James Hodgson
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Name: James Hodgson
Type of Rep: Children’s Rep
Current Tour Operator: Thomas Cook
Countries worked in: Spain

“Made it through training, and 3 weeks later I was sent to my summer resort of Benidorm in the Costa Blanca.  I was so excited!”

In the beginning

I decided when I was 11 year that the job I wanted was to do is to be a Thomson’s children’s rep, so from then on, that was the job I had my heart set on. Everyone knew it was what I wanted to do, all my friends family and even the teachers at school knew. Everyone said that I would be a really good rep so they all had faith in me!

So I got all my GCSE’S and went to college to do the NVQ 3 in Childcare & Education as that is the qualification I knew Thomson wanted for their children’s reps.

I then only had to wait until I was 18 to apply, on my 18th birthday I applied for to Thomson. I completed an online application to them and when I submitted it, I just had to wait and see if I was successful or not. I didn’t have to wait long before I got a letter offering me an interview up in London so was now wondering how I was going to get there from Portsmouth, where I live. I thought about the trains or buses and then decided I wasn’t going to be there in time for my 9.30am start so I asked my mum if she would drive me.

The interview

Thursday 12th August – Interview day. Got to my interview not really knowing what to expect, I went in and there was 15 of us, 14 girls and me! We started by introducing ourselves, and me being the only male they asked me to speak first. So I stood up and introduced myself, said who I was, where I was from and what my job at the time was, after me everyone else got their go. Previous to my interview I was asked to have a presentation prepared of an activity that I could run in one of the sessions they would be running if I was successful, I chose a Hawaiian themed party and we had to have two props, I had an umbrella to put in the drinks and a palm tree I had made.

After a break we then when we then re-entered the room they said that after our presentations they were going to dismiss people, my heart was pounding, but I made it through! Then we had a maths and English test they were easy I thought. When I had finished and everyone else was still going I was thinking what have I done wrong to finish so fast! But I re-checked and I had done them all, so thought they must be checking. Whilst the interviewers marked the papers, we had another break knowing that more people were going to be sent home. But nope, not me! It was time for 2:1 interviews!

We were all sent downstairs into a room to wait for our 2 on 1 interviews, again I was first, I was shaking so much as I was really nervous knowing I had almost got the job that I had always wanted! This stage was really scary, they were asking what you would do in certain scenarios but I must have given the right answers as I was pretty sure they were impressed!

I got the job!

A week later I got a letter offering me a job, I was over the moon and told everyone! After confirming that I would like the job, I had loads of forms to fill in and was asked to attend a training course.

My training course was in Essex for 5 days intense training.  Although the training was intense it was also fun at the same time as I met loads of new people who were all in the same boat as me, not knowing what exactly our job includes.

I made it through the training and 3 weeks later I was sent to my summer resort of Benidorm in Costa Blanca, I was so excited.  When i got to resort I was met by my Childcare Co – Ordinator at the airport. who showed me around the resort and told me about where I was going to be working and showed me the hotel and clubroom I will be in. The next day was Sunday, I was sent into another hotel to see how sessions are run and what happens in welcome meetings.  Then on the Monday it was “Lets go live” day, where I had my first day running sessions with my another Kidzone rep that I worked with. She was working harder than I was as I was just still learning but was trying hard to run the session. The first few weeks were hard, but then I settled in more and it got easier once I had run all the sessions once.  I also met Tom, a Thomas Cook rep, so that made it even better and helped me to settle in!

Where I am now

After my first summer season I then applied for winter position and was placed within a winter ski resort, I thought I would be happy with that choice but when I got there I decided it wasn’t for me, so left there and now I am a Thomas Cook Mainline Rep!!

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