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Your insider’s guide to: Working in bungy jumpingPosted on 22/02/2023 by Hayley Clark
When you study travel and tourism, there are so many exciting careers available to you.
Here in New Zealand, we’re the home of the bungy jump, and many of our students graduate with the goal of working as a Jump Master – like Fleur, who recently landed her dream job in Queenstown.
To find out a little more about what it’s like to work in bungy jumping, we reached out to Graham Trubuhovich, National Operations Manager for AJ Hackett Bungy. Here’s what he had to say.
Can you tell our readers about your tourism career? What roles did you do before you became the General Manager of AJ Hackett Bungy Auckland?
I used to be the North Island GM, taking a further step forward to National Operations Manager.
My journey started at entry level in the company in Queenstown, initially working part time in the raft at the Kawarau and doing some driving work for AJ Hackett Bungy. I progressed into our Activities teams and trained how to be a Jump Master.
That lead to Jump Operations Manager for Queenstown before moving to Auckland to move into a full management role to learn more of the business side of the company. During my time in Auckland, the company grew to include the SkyJump & SkyWalk and later Taupo Bungy and Swing, all adding learning and challenge to my role as the North Island GM.
Then currently the last change in 2022 to National Operations Manager where all of the site crew at all our locations have their reporting line end up at me. I was always interested in learning more and looking for the next challenge and have ended up in the fortunate position of that opportunity always being available internally and not having to bounce around other companies to find what I needed.
What is the career journey of someone who helps our Bungy jumpers off the edge?
In Auckland and Taupo all crew are cross trained through multiple areas – frontline, photo and video, raft, customer prep and harnessing. Then crew work out where their interest and abilities lie and can begin their journey to a Jump Master.
That can be starting in the raft in Taupo or as a SkyWalk guide at the SkyTower before moving to the jump deck and starting that training process. In Queenstown you choose a department at the initial application (frontline/activities/P&V/café etc) and are trained all the way through in that one department, although cross training is available later in this process.
What does the average day look like for someone who works as a Bungy Master?
This seems like the perfect setting for one of those memes about “what my boss thinks I do”, what my friends think I do, what customers think I do, what I really do!
Across all the different activities we have the core is relatively the same for activity crew. You need to ensure you and your customers are safe while doing the activity, while at the same time be entertaining, energetic, look cool while trying to look like you’re not, make horrible jokes about safety while also being ridiculously safe, be a mother/father/big sibling to people who can’t quite work up the courage – this may involve encouragement or tough love (good cop/bad cop). Then there’s always the battle with the rest of the crew on who has the best lunch…
What would surprise us about working in Bungy?
We have lots of crew who are still afraid to jump, some have only done it the once when they started. Not everyone is super confident and we don’t expect them to be, just do your best.
What makes for an amazing Jump Master?
People who care – this is not a job for those that don’t care. Being detail orientated, being able to repeat a process a thousand times while still being relaxed and having a chat with customers. A great Jump Master also has empathy for the scared people who need help to achieve their goals.
What unique jumps do you offer (such as jumps for those with disabilities?)
For bungy jumps, you generally start with the standard swan dive, then depending on your ability and confidence, you can begin to work your way up from there. Backwards, elevators, pendulums, fruit bat, tandems, running jumps, somersaults, at certain times of the year we do bike jump events.
Disabled jumps are sometimes limited by access, as we’re in unusual places but the SkyJump at the SkyTower has an elevator to the top and easy access for almost anyone to be able to jump off. SkyWalk can be done sitting in a harness with a companion pushing them around the Walk if they’re unable to walk themselves for example.
Is there anything exciting happening in the world of bungy we should know about?
Yes, but not that I can talk about right now sadly…
How many jumps does it take for the fear/nerves to wear off?
Never. You learn how to hide it and not show it on the outside, and there’s definitely less fear than when you start, but the little voice telling you not to do it always stays. What’s the point otherwise? If you’re not feeling any fear then not much point jumping. This is why people do more extreme jumps, to feel the fear again like it was the first time when your head was screaming no – but you did it anyway.
What tips do you have for anyone looking to get into a career with AJ Hackett?
Just show you’re passionate about working with people, love interacting with new people and most important that you care.
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Study From Home – firstname.lastname@example.org 0800 TOURISM (0800 868747) or https://www.studyfromhome.co.nz/contact-us/Posted in News | Tagged Adventure tourism, Bungy jumping, Working in travel and tourism | Leave a reply