Our team leader Edwin Quadros shares his apprenticeship journey so far…
“I began my hospitality career aged 19 when I worked at a hotel in Dubai. After four years of working long hours in hotels, I became a cruise waiter, a role I enjoyed for eight years. Having moved to England three years ago to be with my family and for a better career opportunity, I joined BaxterStorey as a team member, based at Said Business School.
Always pushing myself to learn and progress, I was recently promoted to team leader, managing a team of 15. My key responsibilities at work are to manage hospitality pre-bookings, allergen information and fine dining service.
One afternoon my manager asked if I would be interested in joining BaxterStorey’s Service Academy. With so much experience and nearing 50 years old, I questioned the need to join an apprenticeship scheme. What more could I possibly learn? How wrong was I!
In August 2018, I decided I would take the opportunity and joined the Service Academy as an apprentice. Expecting to spend study sessions in a classroom, I was surprised by how casual the meet and greet was, and how friendly all the apprentices were – the first thing we did was chat over tea and coffee! Meeting new people from all areas of the UK has been one of the highlights of being on the programme.
I have learnt so much on the Academy, it’s expanded my knowledge on beverage service. Coffee for example, coffee was always coffee to me, but now I know there is a lot more technicalities to it, including how to brew at the right temperature. It’s given me a real boost in confidence; I now feel confident in making my own cocktail recipes for my customers, so I can now create a better service experience for them.
The biggest learning curve was realising how much had changed in service since I first trained. From the way fine dining dishes are served, to setting up tables, even to how we greet our customers, service has evolved hugely. The Academy has taught me to much which without a doubt will help me in my new role as team leader, like waiting until everyone finishes before you take away the plates!
People always ask me how I manage the coursework alongside a busy work schedule. As soon as I began my apprenticeship, I sat with my manger to work out my diary and schedule the work load. I mostly do my work at home, which meant I even had to teach myself how to use a computer, something that I struggled with before. At work, if we have quieter periods, I will sit and do my work then.
The thing I can take away most from my apprenticeship is the opportunity it’s given me to grow and I have both Academy leaders Gabi and Herve to thank for that. It’s allowed me to build a support network through meeting new people and with BaxterStorey being in so many different industries across the country, I can see the long-term opportunities should I ever decide on a new adventure”.
Are you interested in doing an apprenticeship? Contact the L&D team at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.