Zakaria started as a student worker at the airport, now he is a dispatcher: “Mobility Masters really provides opportunities for young people”

A student job in cleaning is common, but cleaning planes at the airport, that’s something else. Mobility master Zakaria describes it as one of the best student jobs he has ever had. He started in 2018 as a student worker cleaning airplanes at the airport. But it didn’t stop there. After his studies, he got the opportunity to advance to the position of dispatcher. We visited Zakaria on the airport tarmac, where he manages the cleaning schedule.

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The beginning: student job at the airport

Hi Zakaria, how and when did you end up here at the airport?

Zakaria: “That was in 2018, I was 18 at the time and looking for a side income. My best friend already had a student job at the airport and it was doing the rounds that it was a good place for student workers. And it turned out to be true, I worked as a cleaner at Mobility Masters for 5 years as a student. It paid well, and I always had a good relationship with the people here; there’s a good atmosphere, and the colleagues are cool.”

“At Mobility Masters, job students are not considered ‘just’ students.”

From a student job at the airport, you evolved into a permanent job as a dispatcher.

“That’s right. After my studies – accounting and IT – there was an opportunity at Mobility Masters. They were looking for a new dispatcher, I applied, and got the job. I appreciate the opportunities you get here. The company doesn’t see student workers as ‘just’ students. You get recognition, and if you show as a student that you can contribute, you really get the chance here. Actually, from a young age, I’ve always said I wanted to work at the airport. Back then, I was thinking more about check-in, for example. But I wanted to stay with Mobility Masters. I now have a position where I can still learn a lot. Every day is new; who knows what the future holds.”

Dispatcher: a job full of adrenaline

What does a dispatcher at the airport do?

“Ensure that the cleaning schedule for the airplanes runs smoothly. At Mobility Masters, we clean around 100 airplanes per day on average, so it requires good planning. As a dispatcher, I have a screen with all the incoming flights for the day. All those airplanes, both large and small, are entered into our system. In the morning, we allocate which teams will clean which airplanes based on the expected arrival times and the type of cleaning needed for each aircraft. I have to think carefully about this because the flights need to depart on time, of course.”

Seems like a stressful job?

“Yes, it’s quite adrenaline-filled. But I like that; that’s why I do it. I also learn a lot in this job. There’s a lot involved. I need to be able to communicate, work with different programs, be a leader, and be able to take responsibility and make decisions. If there are problems, I’m the one who has to solve them.”

“If a plane arrives a few minutes later than planned, the whole schedule shifts, and I have to rearrange everything.”


“For example, if a plane arrives a few minutes later than planned, the whole schedule shifts, and I have to rearrange everything. That’s why as a dispatcher, I have to be concerned with what’s happening now but also with what could happen. Keeping an eye on the weather conditions, for instance, because a sudden rainstorm can disrupt the entire schedule.”

That’s a lot different from a student job at the airport. How do you deal with that responsibility?

“That was a big change for me because now I have to manage the people who were my colleagues for years. It’s important to find a good balance: maintaining a good relationship because they are also my friends, but also being straightforward about what needs to be done. It’s part of my job now. It has to be clear what is possible and what is not, so I have to be assertive. Sometimes it’s a bit of a challenge, but I feel that the cleaners understand and respect it. They give me positive feedback regularly.”

Zakaria - job étudiant aéroport - dispatcheur - Mobility Masters

A reality check

So, the good relationship with the other masters is still there.

“Definitely. If we’re short on cleaners for certain flights, I don’t feel too proud to help out myself. I know what the work entails because I did it myself for 5 years. I also receive respect from the cleaners in return. For me, it’s always a reality check. It makes me realize where I come from and where I am now. I realize that I’m making progress in my career and my future. That motivates me.”

“I notice that Mobility Masters has the best interests of customers and employees at heart.”

What do you hope to achieve in your job?

“Mobility Masters is a very large enterprise, and I feel that there’s the opportunity to take more steps in the future within the company. I feel that people within the company are open to that. If you have the right motivation, a lot can happen. And it’s up to us, the youth, to take over the reins. Mobility Masters gives young people the chance. And it’s up to us to bring innovation, although we must also listen to the ‘older’ generation because we can certainly learn from them.”


So, it sounds like a successful journey.

“Absolutely. It’s a job that goes beyond just cleaning airplanes. I also learn how to treat each other with respect. With young people, students, people from other cultures, the older generation, … It’s also nice to work for a company that wants to keep growing and delivering quality. I notice that Mobility Masters has the best interests of customers and employees at heart. Being a cleaner at Mobility Masters was one of the best student jobs I’ve ever done, and I’m very grateful to Mobility Masters for allowing me to transition to dispatcher at the airport.”

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