English Lakes Hotels Resorts & Venues is committed to training and development.
This includes not only our training academy for aspiring Chefs, but a whole range of specialist training in every aspect of hospitality. Over a number of years we’ve offered short term work experience placements for school pupils, and this summer we were delighted to welcome Maddie Taylor as a university intern. She shares how this has impacted her understanding of the hospitality industry and her future career plans.
Tell us a little about yourself
I live locally and I’m studying at Lancaster University, and have completed two years of a three year BSc (Hons) in Economics. Growing up in a family that loves to visit other countries and experience different cultures, I’ve been interested in travel and tourism from an early age.
Why English Lakes?
Many of my fellow students were keen to spend their summer internship with a multi-national company in the city. The thought of this did not inspire me at all. Why would I want to leave such a beautiful part of the country? I looked around at the local companies that offered development opportunities, and took the initiative and approached English Lakes to ask for relevant work experience over the summer.
I was contacted by Ben Berry, Sales and Purchasing Director for English Lakes Hotels, Resorts & Venues. We met up and discussed various projects that I might get involved with. There were several research-based projects that we identified as having the potential to add value to the company, whilst offering me some great work experience.
The Best Bits?
I’ve enjoyed a huge range of fantastic experiences, from attending internal management meetings to face to face meetings with suppliers. Right from the start, I was given the scope to use my initiative to take projects from an idea or concept through to a working solution that would benefit the company on an ongoing basis. One example of this, and the one I’ve adopted as ‘my baby’, has been researching and developing an online platform for group sales enquiries, quotations and bookings. This resulted in the company adding some new software to their sales system. I’ve even been given the opportunity to train the sales team in the use of this system. Seeing a project through from start to finish has been a real thrill.
There have been other benefits that working for English Lakes has provided. I’ve loved having access to the fantastic gym and outdoor Spa facilities over the summer. My friends and I have also enjoyed evenings on the lake, taking full advantage of the range of water sports available on the resort.
What impact has the internship had on you?
My parents cannot believe how motivated I am by work. I’ve enjoyed the internship so much that it has transformed me from a ‘mid-day awake’ student to an employee who is up with the larks and keen to get to my desk each morning.
… and future plans?
I am back at university in a couple of week to complete the final year of my degree course. Thereafter, I feel inspired to build on what I’ve learned at English Lakes Hotels, and hopefully go on to a career in some aspect of travel and tourism.
Win, Win, Win
We are very grateful to Maddie for bringing such a positive attitude and pro-active approach to everything she has tackled over the last few weeks. Ben Berry, Sales and Purchasing Director, summed it up
It is quite often the case that managers and directors think they are too busy to have a “work experience person”. This couldn’t be further from the truth as long as that person is the right person with the right framework. Maddie, in particular, has been given a fairly free reign to work on her own initiative from start to finish on some of our 'not urgent, very important' issues. What could be seen as a risk by some has provided real dividends for myself and the team. Not only has Maddie brought us benefit and had the chance to benefit from being with us, I know that when she hits the workforce full time her employer will benefit from her time with us, it’s a win win win!