Hello everyone, greetings from Brazil!
My name is Gustavo Franklin and I joined Lufthansa Cargo three years ago, and I can say that it has been quite a ride for me! Back than I was working for a Brazilian airline called Azul when I was invited to an interview with Lufthansa Cargo, an employer I didn’t know much about at the time. Still I was interested in working for this company because I had flown with this airline before and enjoyed a great service. In addition to this, Lufthansa was and still is a highly respected airline in Brazil; overall, the German business methods and concepts had the respect from the Brazilian people.
After my job interview I was offered a position at the Lufthansa Cargo Operations Department here at Viracopos International Airport in Brazil. As part of my onboarding phase I had to attend a four-weeks-class at the Lufthansa Training Center in Seeheim, near Frankfurt. From that point on I already felt that this company was going to invest in my career, so I was glad I decided to join Lufthansa.
At the very beginning of my classes I was a bit scared, because of the stories I’ve heard about this training: “It’s like in a casting show, every week somebody will be sent home.” I can now see where the rumors were coming from as each Friday there was a test and if the minimum grade was not achieved, participation was ended. However, those tests were fair and manageable – I made it and finally received my certificate as a qualified Operations Agent. Now I can clearly understand why the course has to be challenging: The Operations department is responsible for many security related aviation activities. Any mistake can be critical and may have a major impact on the flight safety.
A little insight of what we do:
The OPS Team in VCP Airport currently has seven members, and everyone helps each other all the time. Some of the team members have been working for Lufthansa for over 25 years and they are always sharing experiences and that special “know how” you can only get after several years in this business.
My main task as an Operations Agent is to prepare the Loading Instruction for each flight. This means distributing the cargo pallets inside the aircraft while adhering to several international aviation rules and regulations. It may sound simple but there are weight limitations for each of the aircraft loading positions as well as cargo incompatibilities so it sometimes feels like completing a puzzle, and it is always fun and challenging for me.
I also enjoy getting the chance to deal with people from different companies and different countries which is a really nice and a complex experience.
One of the highlights in my career took place during my second year working at Lufthansa Cargo. As one of 9 other Lufthansa Cargo employees, I was nominated to participate in the Management Development Program (MDP) of the “Americas”. Three times in total the entire group will get together in Atlanta, Georgia – the Lufthansa Cargo headquarters for the Americas. When I received the invitation I felt really happy and proud to work in a company which offers opportunities like this one. The MDP is a great chance to receive extra training and knowledge about the company and it helps me to get connected with colleagues from different locations in the U.S.
It is a great program, and I must take this chance to thank everyone involved in its preparation and organization (Jennifer Bruene and the interns Kathrin Gatzen, Anabel Mautner and Lena Schmid from the Personnel Development for the Americas). As part of the MDP, I had to develop one individual project and present the results to all the other participants as well as to some of the managers in Atlanta. The feedback from them was really positive and I have learned a lot from this project management experience already. As the next step, I am currently working on a second project which is a group project this time with a presentation to the managers scheduled for January, 2015.
Another program element I enjoyed so far was a Shadowing with another colleague from Atlanta as part of a “Buddy Program”. All MDP participants were divided in buddy-tandems and I had the very fun task to host a colleague from Atlanta for two weeks here in Brazil. This allowed us to exchange our different views of the Cargo business, since we are in different places and work for different departments.
After participating in the first two platforms of the MDP it was clear that if you wanted to develop your career you will find ways to do it with the support from the Human Resources development department. The HR Team from Atlanta (responsible for the Americas’ region) is amazing and always ready to give you different training options and coaching advices.
When I look back to when I started with Lufthansa Cargo three years ago, I can easily say that it has been a very positive journey so far. I get so much back from the company and I feel that the company invested and believed in me from day one. Because of that, I can already see some new opportunities for my career. Each new training you complete or each new project you start opens up many doors to new job positions and new challenges. So if you think you are the kind of person that enjoys a challenging environment I believe Lufthansa would be a very good place to start, and also, to develop a long-term career. Most of the people having worked for Lufthansa for a long time will say that this is a company worth investing your time in.