Tweed girl is living her dream
LIVING away from home and working in the world's busiest airport may be a nightmare scenario for some, but for Kingscliff teenager Gina Dowdle it is a dream come true.
Four months in to her year-long internship with V Australia in Los Angeles, the 19-year-old is having the time of her life.
Ms Dowdle, who is working as a customer service agent based at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), has so far met celebrities including radio host Kyle Sandilands, former Olympic swimmer Ian Thorpe, musician Ben Lee, model and MTV VJ Ruby Rose and former Kiss rocker Gene Simmons.
“Working at the LAX is by far the best job I have ever had in my life. I love the airport drama,” Ms Dowdle said.
“Our check-in area is unlike any check-in you have seen. We have cranking music, we walk out and greet our guests and we have dim lighting.
Besides the occasionally celebrity Ms Dowdle meets, there are many benefits to the job, including discount travel around the world.
“I even got tickets to see Thunder from Down Under from the owner of the show in Las Vegas. He was travelling with Mick Doohan,” she said.
While completing Years 11 and 12 at Kingscliff High School in 2006 and 2007 Ms Dowdle studied her Certificate Two in Tourism Operations at Kingscliff TAFE.
Last year she also completed her Certificate Three in Tourism Operations as well as her Diploma of Tourism Operations at the same campus, after which she was offered the internship with V Australia.
Ms Dowdle lives in downtown Los Angeles, rooming with three other ex-North Coast Institute of TAFE students who undertook internships in 2008 and are now employed permanently by V Australia.
Gina is constantly undertaking new training to improve her skills.
She scored 100 per cent on her first exam when she arrived in Los Angeles in July.
Kingscliff TAFE tourism teacher Delma Smith said her former student is the perfect ambassador for Australia.
“We have a good relationship with V Australia because of the hard work and enthusiasm shown by our ex-students like Gina. I am positive there will be more internships for our students in the future,” Ms Smith said.