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Fri, 2nd Feb 2018

QRC Alumni - Q&A with Gretchen Nightingale, The Helicopter Line

Gretchen has worked with some of New Zealand’s premier tourism operators since gaining her Adventure Tourism Management Diploma with QRC. In her job with The Helicopter Line, Gretchen manages the daily running of the Queenstown base.

What’s your current job?

I’m the Helibase Manager for The Helicopter Line’s Queenstown base. I take care of the logistics of our flights and look after our customers, right from bookings to transport back to their hotel. I run the base in conjunction with a lead pilot. I also take care of the recruitment of my team at the base.

What jobs have you had in tourism?

After chasing winters working in the snow sports industry for six years between New Zealand and North America, I took advantage of the contacts I made at QRC. My first job was with Milford Sounds Flights doing flight coordination. I then started with The Helicopter Line as a Driver Loader, doing client pickups and safety briefings. After 6 months I was promoted to Customer Service, then Assistant Manager and I’ve been doing the Base Manager job for four years now.

What’s the best part of your job?

It sounds cheesy but interacting with the customers and getting to share our environment with people. We get to see customers who come back from a trip and they’re over the moon. It really makes your day.

You employ QRC grads and students, what makes them a good employee?

They’re keen to learn. What I like about them is that they’re genuinely working very hard towards what they want to do. They’re really career focused and they do a good job.

How did your Diploma help you in your career?

It’s a mix of the contacts, life experience and familiarity with industry process that’s really important. With new health and safety laws, risk registers and customer service, I was familiar with all of that before starting work.

  • Posted By: Andrea Preston on Tue, 15th Dec 2015 @ 18:46:07