“It was on a flight to Barcelona. I chatted with the purser about my graduation and that I did not know how to proceed afterwards. She came to me later and said that the head of internal communication of Inflight Services was on board and that she wanted to talk to me. That was my moment. I knew that I wanted to stay with KLM, after eight years of flying I had a blue heart. But I also was about to finish my communication study and wanted to put that to use. How do you do that? Sometimes you just have to be lucky. There was place available in the communications department within Inflight Services and I could there start as a ‘nevenfunctionaris’: that means you fly part time and work on the ground for the other part. I started managing a community on Yammer. Then I became a communications advisor within the same department. I decided to quit flying a few years later when I started my new job as a business partner communication at KLM Cityhopper. At the moment I wat Engineering & Maintenance (E&M). I advise, coordinate and support the communication activities within E&M and maintain close contact with the KLM Corporate Communications department. 

What is it like to work here? What do you think? A bit of a culture shock. This is a man’s world and of course very technical. But I got used to it and it’s actually a great and innovative department. My colleagues here are so proud of what they do. I think they like it that there are now more women working within our division. In the past I would not have been able to foresee that I would end up here. I did not even know what I wanted to do for a long time. After my high school and a year and a half of higher professional education, I decided I needed some time away and went to Curaçao. A friend of mine did an internship there and I bought a single way ticket to visit here. I was 19 and worked there for a while in the bar of Mambo Beach. Until one day my mother called me, worried, and said: “Karin you really have to do something with your life now!” I knew she was right. Soon after, I flew back to the Netherlands, applied as a cabin attendant and was actually hired. That was my luck. Because my nature is restless and I am bored quickly. Then flying around the world is a great job!  In the past few years that restlessness has become less, but I am still studying next to my work. When I finish my master in corporate communication, I’d like to pursue a managerial position within KLM. That’s the beauty of such a big company: there are so many possibilities.’

Karin Ooms