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Meet our Fabulous Wedding and Events Apprentices | National Apprentice Week

  • By phil-projector
  • February 10, 2022
  • Announcement
  • Uncategorised

To celebrate the 15th annual National Apprentice Week, we are shining a light on two of the latest additions to our team, Lois Blythe and Zoe Craddock, our fabulous Wedding and Events Apprentices.

To mark the occasion, we caught up with Lois and Zoe to find out what a typical day as a Wedding and Events Apprentice looks like, what they’ve learned so far, and why they chose Matfen Hall – they even tell us about their favourite cocktail on the menu!

Read as they answer our questions, below.

Walk us through a typical day at Matfen Hall

Lois: “I arrive at 8:45am and begin my day with a cup of tea in the office whilst logging on to the computer and getting all my browsers up and ready for the day. I write my to-do list and begin ticking things off while answering phone calls and making reservations.

I have lunch at around 1pm and spend the afternoon continuing with my list. If my colleagues have appointments or viewings,  I may go with them to shadow and learn as much as possible”.

Zoe: “I arrive at Matfen and start my day in the office at 9 am. Each day is different from the last depending on what events are coming up in the next week. I often join my colleagues in meetings with clients; doing walkthroughs for weddings and getting final details for the event. Answering phone calls and emails when possible, making reservations for dining and Afternoon Teas, finalising function sheets, doing research for potential future events, or even printing off documents and stationery for upcoming weddings. There’s a lot of change happening at Matfen Hall and in the office so no two days are the same”.

What stood out about Matfen Hall to you?

Lois: “I didn’t want to go to uni, I loved working, and always wanted to do an apprenticeship. I wanted to gain a qualification whilst working hard for an ever-growing business. I knew the role itself would have progression opportunities because the business was progressing itself and so, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.”

Zoe: “For me, Matfen Hall felt like a home away from home, from the second I walked through the door for my interview. Despite the hotel being so grand, I instantly felt comfortable and at ease due to the staff and how efficiently everything is run here”.

How are you finding your apprenticeship so far and what skills are you learning?

Lois: “I am loving it so far. I am learning a lot from my colleagues about sales and outstanding customer service. Not only have I learnt about Matfen Hall itself, including its room types and the menus for all its restaurants, but I have learned how to exert that knowledge into a sale.

I have also learned what needs to be in place to make an event run successfully, and the right information to ask the clients in order to make the event a success”.

Zoe: “Every day at Matfen I’m learning more and more. Whether it’s how to use the online booking systems or just the everyday computer programmes. Learning about how to successfully plan and execute an event is coming along slowly as well, and I find myself excited to come into work every day”.

What is the most rewarding part of the job?

Lois: “The most rewarding part of the role is definitely the satisfaction and the pride of making a sale. My first ever sale was an Afternoon Tea voucher, which was being used as a present and I talked a lot with the customer on why they should choose this particular voucher. When they eventually decided that that was what they were after, it was very satisfying knowing that I had made that happen. I made the voucher personal to them by writing a message to the receiver.

I also enjoyed working on a wedding that was a postponement; I helped draft up the function sheets, established the dietaries and set the table plans. This all came together on the day and was a success. It was really interesting to see it all on paper and then come together perfectly.”

Zoe: “The best part of the job is definitely the wedding days. Seeing the wedding come to life after months or possibly years of planning is so rewarding, especially once you see the bride and groom celebrating and happy on their big day. It makes every day of planning worthwhile.”

If you were in charge for the day, would you do anything differently?

Lois: “If I was in charge for the day, I think I would try and create more events whether they’re big or small. For example, a Mother’s Day package with the use of The Retreat, followed by Afternoon Tea or dinner. I would also try and add more personal touches to our events.” 

Zoe: “I would plan for more packages/small events, such as couples spa days and possible outdoor events once the weather gets warmer.”

What’s your favourite cocktail on the menu?

Lois:“My favourite cocktail is definitely a mojito! I would have this in The Retreat by the pool as a lovely refreshment before going in the steam room or sauna!”

Zoe: “My favourite cocktail is the Elderflower Collins. It’s light and sweet; the perfect drink to finish off the day.”

If you were a guest, what’s the first thing you would do at Matfen Hall?

Lois: “The first thing I would do would book The Half Retreat Day with my mum. I would then indulge in an Afternoon Tea in the Orangery with parkland and golf course views, and a glass of fizz! I may also take my dad for a round of golf in the summer and enjoy lunch at The Keepers on the outside tables.”

Zoe: “The first thing I would do is go to the pool, and unwind in the jacuzzi or sauna with a cocktail in my hand.”

What are your aspirations on finishing your apprenticeship?

Lois: “My aspirations are to hopefully be kept on at Matfen Hall, and to work my way up to Head of Events, using my knowledge from different departments to throw successful weddings and big events. I’d love to grow the business to a point where we can host huge National and even global events, for example, hosting the launch of a new Tesla car. I have a good work ethic and have the ambition to grow the business to what I vision it to be.”

Zoe: “My aspiration is to be an events coordinator, possibly specialising in weddings, but as of yet I have no set plans for what will happen once my apprenticeship is complete.”

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