I was working on a cruise ship when I arrived in Dubai on October 10th, 2012. While I was Facebook chatting with a former colleague of mine from the university, who was working for Qatar Airways at that time, I suddenly decided that I wanted to become a cabin crew. She was telling me all about the advantages of the job and how nice it was to get in contact with different cultures. This is how I realized that I wanted these things also. It took me some years until I became a flight attendant, but it was worth being so patient.
During this time I was working abroad in several Customer Service jobs, dealing even with VIP guests. Once I got back to Romania in 2013, when I was already 30 years old, I started applying for different Middle East airline jobs, with recruitment sessions in Cluj-Napoca, my hometown, and Bucharest. I passed the pre-screening interview for flynas, a Saudi low-cost company, but to my disappointment, I didn’t reach the Assessment Day. I took the experience in a positive way, as I met that time Mrs. Nicoleta Gherman. It was clear to me that I have to learn more about the cabin crew job and one month later I attended the first Cabin Crew Preparation Course for Airlines’Interview, held in June 2013, in Cluj-Napoca. Nicoleta Gherman was our trainer, giving us all the information we needed during the 5-days workshop. Furthermore, I decided to study aviation even more. Again I applied for Saudi Gulf Airline, this time reaching the final interview but still unsuccessfully, despite having a lot of technical information about aviation. I knew my mistakes and I realized that I have to learn how to bring the best out of me in front of the recruiting officers. I knew Mrs. Gherman could help me and so I met her several times for some private one-on-one discussions. This is how I gained trust and confidence in myself, I learned how to impress the recruiters, what to say and not to say, I found out lots of details about different airlines recruiting at that time. I was finally ready to apply and shortly I received invitations from three European airlines Assessment Days. In one week I went to different countries, in order to attend all cabin crew recruiting events in England (Titan Airways), France (Volotea) and Spain (Aeronova). Just imagine all the effort done! Later on, I also attended the AD with another European leisure airline, one Saudi low-cost and a private Swiss company.
Also grooming is very important for the recruiters. It would be a very good idea to go to a make-up artist, like I did, to make sure that you know exactly your best look. Stay in contact with people passionate by the same field like you and read as much as possible. As I fluently speak 6 languages (English, Romanian, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese) and a bit of German, Mrs. Nicoleta also recommended me to prepare a speech in each language. It all happened exactly as she said: the exercises we got, the in-flight situations and typical questions were not new for me anymore. And of course, during the final interviews, I got questions in different languages, the recruiters trying to check on my knowledge. More than that, during the Final Interview with Aeronova and the private Swiss airline, I got questions in 5 languages I speak (excepting Romanian) and so I felt that the recruiters were really impressed. I passed the interviews with Aeronova and was on hold for the next courses offered by Primera Air and the private business airline, but the waiting period was getting longer and longer, as the startup of their classes was delayed. Working part-time as a guide was not helping me much, so I decided to attend another interview with Ryanair. Once I applied, I received an invitation to the AD hold in Barcelona. I was happy to pass it but even happier to get my Cabin Crew Training straight away on May 11th, 2016 in Malaga, Spain.
It was not easy to accommodate, as the trainees had to take care of their accommodation, food and any other facilities needed. I would kindly recommend anyone to find a quiet accommodation as close as possible to the location of the courses, to eat healthy food and stay fresh and hydrated (a smoothie every day and a lot of water make wonders). We had a very intense training course that lasted 6 weeks. We used to start at 9.00 AM, finishing at 6.00 PM, with 1-hour break every day. We had two very professional instructors: one taught us about customer service for two days, while the other was with us for the whole duration of “the flight”, teaching us about safety, security, and first aid. I highly appreciated them and the methods they used in order to help us learn the evacuation drills, for example. The instructors were using different tricks to make us easily remember everything. For example, the general fire drill should be better remembered using the following rule: “I put apples in everything.” What does this sentence stand for? I stands for Identify, P stands for Prepare, A stands for Attack, I stands for Inform and E stands for Electrics. I so much appreciated her way of working, as she did her best to facilitate our understanding and learning. Every day she used to give us a test of the material that we learned the day before, with feedback at the end. The passing grade was 90%. This everyday test was not taken into consideration as we had two important exams, the initial exam and the conversion exam. Every exam had 100 questions that could be answered in 3 hours and the passing grade was 90%. At the end of each day, we had to study or revise all that was taught in the class, in order to prepare ourselves better for the next day exam. Ryanair Cabin Crew Training provided me with all the necessary information, but at the same time, it gave me the opportunity to explore Malaga. After that, we spent 3 days in Stansted, where we had the airplane walk-around and practical exam. I was even based in Stansted, Ryanair’s hub.
As a new cabin crew, I had 12 sectors as a supernumerary (extra crew), in this way accommodating myself with flying and the cabin crew job itself. I was very happy that my dream finally came true. In less than 2 months, I got the chance to move to a new base in my country, Romania. Even though being closer to my house and being able to visit my family more frequently, I still wanted to see the world. As I love Spain, after passing my initial exam, I wanted to explore Malaga and so I decided to take a hop on hop off bus. Another time, after passing the conversion exam, I decided to visit Picasso’s house and his museum. It was an amazing experience because during the faculty years I never imagined I would be given the opportunity to visit Malaga and see all its wonderful places. Actually, I recommend everyone to do this when visiting a foreign country or any city. You should never just stay in the hotel room. Take advantage of the layover relaxing time to the maximum and discover all areas around!