“I highly recommend Amine for any position and I’m sure that she will do a great job. She would be a great asset for any position she chooses to attend and will put 100% into what she is asked to do as she has shown to us.” This is but a small excerpt of the lengthy letter of recommendation Amine’s manager at her London work placement decided to write for her. Amine did not ask for this but she thoroughly deserves it. Read on to hear more from this inspirational student from Norway.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your educational background.
My name is Amine Burum. I love to make food. I started with my grandma and we baked many buns. She taught me how to be efficient in the kitchen and I thought it was very enjoyable. After this I started to look around to find a place to work. It was fun, I was working in different restaurants and stores in Norway. I loved it. I have worked in Strand Restaurant, Meny, Essens catering and Maschmanns Statholdergaareden which is a Michelin star restaurant. I love to work and I think it’s great.
What sparked your interest in the Internship Programme?
I just got the opportunity to go to London from my school. It was a competition to win the experience. I had the best application and got the trip. I was very happy to be the one.
What was the best moment of your trip?
I think it was the work, definitely it was! I loved it. I hope I can meet everybody again. The work was amazing. I got a lot of experience and learned to speak English better. If I had to choose to go there again or work here in Norway I will be honored to come back.
What was it like working at the Birchwood Grange Care Home?
Again it was a really good experience. The people were amazing, and they were patient with me. My legs were killing me after all the walking. I was not used to that. But everything was totally perfect. The care home was very good compared to Norway. The care home had many colours, activities, rooms, animals and positivity. I think every one of the patients was smiling. They really do a great job there. Already in the reception I’d get the first a smiles. I just got the best feeling of the place.
What were your tasks?
I had so much to do. I got entrusted with more tasks than I do in Norway. My tasks were:
Baking cakes and apple pie
Making fish woks, mashed potatoes and fruit salads
Cutting carrots, onions and meat
Making custard, soups and sauces
Learning about Indian food traditions
Learning how to make food for patients with special needs for instance without teeth
Making lists of what I could make
Your manager took it upon themselves to send us a letter of reference for you because they were so impressed by you. What drives you forward?
I think it was the smile and the good response I got every day. Everyone said to me everyday that I was funny, happy, polite and had a great understanding of English. It was very exciting working in a foreign country and it motivated me to do my very best.
How would you compare your work placement to your work or school back home?
I think I was more excited and motivated to work in England. That might be because I had much to learn and different cultures to understand and make food for. The British people are very happy with the English food and they don’t necessarily want to try something else. We have more healthy food focus in Norway and different taste on it. British food is much of the same, but they just have a different flavour and taste on everything. Everything was new and I had a good time there.
How has this experience inspired you?
I think at first I was thinking of the work as an experience and just something I could write on my CV, but it was so much more! I learned much more than I actually thought. I can use all this experience and the recipes to make more food and change more of what I make. In Norway you eat food from every part of the country and aren’t afraid of tasting new and different food. That’s why I think I can use everything I have learned.
What have you learnt from the trip?
Walking around and finding places without anyone’s help. I think it is a good thing to know you can that because you always have to know how to get from A to B. I like that I have learned to be more confident too. I have learned to speak better English and also write a little bit better. It is not good enough yet, but I’m working on it. I have learned to get to know people from other countries and can have a nice conversation with them. I really enjoyed that. I have learned to make great food and take care of everyone so I can make people happy. I really enjoy the experience I got during my stay in London!
What would your advice be for students who are about to go on the Internship Programme?
I think you always have to think positive. If you are homesick of being in another country, just stop thinking about that. After 3 days at home I already missed being in London and working as a chef. And when you start working you have to remember to smile. You can always make someone smile and make their day easier. I think that is my biggest advice for this trip. Just be happy and think how lucky you are. Make friends like you would at home. Just talk like you used to and you can find friends and work for life!
Amine visited London with our Internship Programme, a project eligible for funding from Erasmus+. We also arrange work experience projects in Dublin. Don't hesitate to contact us if you would like more information about what we do and how to get funding. Call a Country Manager today on +44 2084249424 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org