Amy Blair - Douneside House
When Amy’s family moved to Wales just before she started her apprenticeship with Hospitality Apprenticeship North East at Douneside House, the nineteen-year-old decided to stay in Aberdeenshire to continue her training. It was, she says, the best decision she made.
Here’s Amy’s story:
“Although I am a bubbly person, I don’t always like change, so it was a big step for me to move into Douneside. But everyone was so welcoming, and the team became like a surrogate family; I feel lucky to have been chosen to do the apprenticeship.
“When I first read about the HANE apprenticeship, the things that stood out for me were the rotations and the chance to try out more things rather than stay in one section. You get four months in each department, and I have learnt so much.
“It can all seem a little daunting if you are new to an apprenticeship, but you start at the shallow end and go at your own pace. At Douneside, I’ve had so much support and encouragement, and my confidence has increased so much. I genuinely feel valued and part of the team.
“I still can’t choose a favourite department! I enjoyed housekeeping, with all the detail and making it right for our guests. But I also love front of house as I meet all the guests, so eventual management of front of house is perhaps where I am leaning.
“I have had so many highlights over the past 18 months – I especially love it when guests know my name. Another special moment was when I had to explain a tasting menu to guests; I did my own research, and it got me a handshake from the Chef!
“I would absolutely recommend HANE to anyone – you get to work with total professionals, and you are never on your own as you learn from people who are just so good at their job. And if you like people, then the hospitality industry is fantastic!”