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Long wait in the wings to land dream job

31 March 2013


SUBANG JAYA: Manimoli Sundara Murthi is so eager to be a flight attendant that she is willing to have her heart broken for the 23rd time trying her luck at the Firefly's cabin crew recruitment exercise.

The administrative staff member has persevered through 22 walk-in interviews with various airlines for the past three years.

"This will be my 23rd walk-in interview. I believe I'm ready and that I will get it this time," said the 24-year-old from Rawang, who is 171cm tall.

She was among some 200 young women who turned up for the walk-in interview session at a hotel here yesterday, eager for a chance to join the seemingly glamorous world of flight attendants.

Manimoli, who attended the interview in a short black dress with matching stockings, attributed her previous failures at landing her dream job to not being "properly groomed".

"For the first few times, I did not know what to wear, how to do my make-up, stand and walk correctly or even answer the interview questions with confidence. But I have since attended a few grooming courses, including training for an air hostess, and today, I know I have what it takes," she said, adding that both her friends and family had always encouraged her to try for a flight attendant job as she “had the height for it".

For another hopeful, Yvonne Chan, working on board a commercial plane has been a lifelong dream.

"When I was a little girl, I once saw a flight attendant and thought she looked so beautiful, and that one day I wanted to be like her. Flight attendants get to know people from all over the world and experience different cultures.

"It's all very glamorous," said the 25-year-old, who travelled from Alor Setar for the interview.

Another aspiring stewardess, Intan Farrah Qayunni Shamsuddin, found the idea of working thousands of feet above ground "appealing".

"I was holding a nine-to-five desk job for a year before realising it was not for me.

"So, I mustered up my courage and spoke to my parents about becoming a flight attendant. They were supportive of my decision," said the journalism graduate.

Firefly cabin crew manager Lynette Maria Isaac said the response for the recruitment exercise was encouraging, adding that over 90 walk-in applicants came within the first hour.

"So far, we have spotted a few with potential. They have the looks, the outgoing personality and can speak both English and Malay well. I am confident we will find what we're looking for by the end of the day,” she said.

Firefly is expanding its fleet of cabin crew to accommodate the addition of the ATR 600 aircraft series.

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