Interview with Niall Williamson, House of Fisher Apprentice

3rd
Nov

1 / Q. Why did you choose House of Fisher for your apprentice programme?

When I came for my interview with House of Fisher everyone was very friendly and welcoming. I could tell there was a real ‘family feel’ in the office. When researching House of Fisher I loved that the apartments were all local to me and although a relatively small company, they work with big names and have so much to offer. I have always shown an interest in the hospitality industry and being in the head office in Theale is even better as I work behind the scenes, maximising sales but also doing administration work.

2 / Q. What were your expectations prior to starting?

I knew it would be daunting as my first office job but also it would be a challenge. I did expect full training and coaching, but the staff gave me all the time and attention I needed. I did not realise how practical and hands on the apprenticeship would be and now I am really proud to be confident and independent when dealing with customers. With my visual impairment I did not expect for House of Fisher to cater to all my needs as well as they have; they have invested and provided me with all the equipment I need and I am given full support from my team!

3 / Q. What are some of the main things you have learned during your programme?

I have learnt so much, however the main points are how to write professional emails and telephone handling whether it be incoming or outgoing calls. I have also gained an insight into the corporate world – I am now very commercially aware with everything I do.
I have during my time learnt the ins and outs of an administration role – it’s much more fun than the stereotypical ‘sat behind a screen, just doing spreadsheets’!

4 / Q. What have you learned especially with reference to the serviced apartments industry?

I’ll be honest; I never even knew what a Serviced Apartment was before starting my apprenticeship at House of Fisher! However, now I know all about the industry, it is safe to say I will never book a hotel room again, as you get so much more for your money. I will also be recommending House of Fisher to anyone visiting the Thames Valley area because we are easy to do business with.  In particular I have learnt about the importance of communication in this sort of business as all the departments need to work closely together to deliver great results.

Niall enjoying work and the apprentice scheme at House of Fisher
5 / Q. Would you recommend an apprentice scheme to others and why?

Definitely, as it gets your foot in the door. It is a great career path for anyone. Coming straight out of education it is good but employers may look at your lack of experience as a downfall but with an apprenticeship it gives you a chance to show what you can do.
An apprenticeship is also great for those who are stuck in a job and want a change. This was the case for me as I was working in a gym previously.
Another benefit is that you are not weighed down by tuition fees and loans, your employer is actually paying for you to graduate and you are gaining valuable experience and learning, at the same time as earning money.

6 / Q. How have you found working at HOF?

Working at House of Fisher has been a fantastic opportunity. I have made friends for life – we have fun in the office but at the same time everyone works hard. The company also do great social events. I have gained valuable experience in the corporate world and I will take what I have learnt with me to my future roles.

7 / Q. If you could invent one gadget to go into each apartment, what would it be?

I think a robot hoover would be a really good idea, it would give our cleaners more time to do other things !!

8 / Q. How do you feel you are more prepared for the future and what are you plans/goals?

I am always looking to progress myself. I am more prepared for my future now because working here has given me a real confidence boost. I have had experience talking to customers from all paths of life and working with different teams and people.  I am also proficient with using Microsoft, which gives me an advantage over others.

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