It’s Monday evening and I’ve just finished putting the final touches on the second workshop for one of my groups at TUI Nederland, locatie Schiphol-Rijk. This will be one of the last of my sessions, which feels quite strange. I almost feel like I have taken up residence in the Catlina and Comet meeting rooms, especially now that I have worked out how all the AV equipment works (thanks for your patience Elisa).
I remember very clearly the day Miranda contacted me in October to ask whether I’d be interested in training at TUI. My thoughts immediately turned to holidays; sun, sea and mojitos. “Are you still there?,” I heard a voice say on the other end of the line… “yes, yes, sorry”, I said. “I was (literally) miles away.”
Nearly four months after that initial conversation, I now have a much clearer idea of what’s behind the TUI smile and the people who make our holidays possible. Everything from deciding what headrest covers are on the seats, organising who handles our luggage, down to scheduling who flies what plane. TUI Nederland is part of the TUI group which is one of world’s largest travel and tourism companies. In the Netherlands, TUI’s brands include Arke, Holland International, Kras, Goed Idee Reizen, Extravacanza, Wedding Unlimited and Lastminute.nl.
TUI is an international organisation and many of its employees work with foreign counterparts in the UK as well as in Germany and Belgium. This means they need to communicate in English on a regular basis. As many TUI employees had indicated that they wished to professionalise their English skills, De Taaltrainer was asked to organise in-company Business English courses for over a hundred participants.
Miranda asked whether I’d like to be one of the trainers and, of course, I accepted. And then it began; the team in the office organised all the ‘intakes’, which was no mean feat. Along with my colleagues Alison, Julie, Karin and Patrick, I carried out the needs analysis interviews. These interviews enabled us to identify each participant’s needs and assess their level which meant we could create custom-made courses designed to meet these training objectives. And then the best bit started – the training sessions.
Three intensive days focusing on Business English communication skills tailored to TUI’s specific needs; emailing, telephoning, participating in meetings and giving presentations accompanied by a large dose of fun and hard work. This is an extremely interactive programme giving the participants the opportunity to practise their skills and receive feedback. As each group is different and has specific needs, many of the role-plays and exercises have been tailored to their roles within the organisation, giving participants the opportunity to practise real work situations.
I’ve really enjoyed my time at TUI. It’s been great working with such a motivated and enthusiastic group of people who are so eager to learn.
And now that I’m all ready to go for tomorrow, it’s time for a cheeky glass of white wine, while I dream of distant shores.