We catch up with Bar & Lounge Waiter, Dan Stickland, who has been working at Tylney Hall for the past 10 months, after studying Catering & Hospitality at BCOT
Can you tell me more about the courses you did at BCOT?
I spent three years at Basingstoke College of Technology studying in the Catering and Hospitality department. The first two years were under a BTEC Extended Diploma, which took place in both the kitchen and front of house, as well as doing written coursework - so it was a fair balance of both worlds to help us experience all sides of the industry and decide which path we would later aspire towards. My third and final year at college was spent studying a City & Guilds Hospitality Supervision course, as after deciding that the kitchen wasn't for me, I took the path of this course. It included overseeing the younger students during service (the college has a public restaurant for training purposes) and learning the day-to-day running of the front of house side of a restaurant.
Did the course put you in good stead for Tylney?
I would say that college definitely prepared me with the skills necessary to take on the Hospitality industry.
Did you have a set career in mind when you were in college?
When I first started in the industry, during my GCSEs, I thought I wanted to be a pastry chef, but after finding comfort in the front of house side, I have found a new love and passion for bartending and I hope one day to fulfil this ambition.
Where did you work before Tylney?
Before Tylney Hall I was nearing the end of college and looking for somewhere to land my feet, I found a pub in my hometown of Alton called; The George. Working there showed me a whole different side of the front of house service as it was a lot less formal than what I had been trained for but, nonetheless, I enjoyed my time there thoroughly.
What was your initial impression of Tylney?
My initial impression of Tylney Hall was that of intrigue, after starting I did feel for a while maybe I had jumped in the deep end too soon but within a few weeks, I was finding things a little easier.
And how are you enjoying it now?
I am enjoying my role at the moment.
What on-the-job training did you have?
I've taken part in all of the compulsory training sessions, the one that springs to mind is the training on cheeses - we learned the history of cheese and how cheese is made.
Can you describe a day at Tylney?
A day at Tylney for me consists of a lot of things! Most of the time I tend to work the early shift in the lounge, which involves setting up the bar and setting up for the day ahead for lunch and afternoon tea. We also can get quite busy sometimes with guests and customers coming to have drinks and food in the lounges as well.
What have you learnt since joining Tylney?
The biggest lesson I have learned while working at Tylney is to keep your head in the present, if you allow yourself to get caught up in the past or stuck worrying about the future it can bring you down.
What would you say to students considering applying to work at Tylney?
Don't be afraid to take on the bigger challenges when they are presented, as long as you have confidence in yourself and your skills, you can do anything!
You can find more about the Hospitality & Catering courses available at Basingstoke College of Technology here