Work experience at YHA National Office

I’m Emily Hancock, 15, from Highfield’s School in Matlock. I was given the opportunity to visit YHA National Office for my work experience. I chose YHA because I’m very interested in travelling and have been from a young age. For my GCSEs I took Travel and Tourism, Business Studies, Spanish and Geography so I thought YHA would be a perfect work placement.

While I was there I visited many different departments like Marketing, Fundraising and Volunteering. I was with the Learning and Development team for a day and I visited the hostel in Ilam in the Peak District and took part in a Hostel Manager fast track program which gave me an insight into how YHA teach and develop their employees’ skills. I found YHA very interesting and a great experience.

One of the things I enjoyed most was researching the four hostels included in The International Edition of The Wanderer, especially the hostel in Barcelona because I’ve been visiting Spain for as long as I can remember. Every time I go back I love it even more. I really enjoy meeting new people and visiting new places. Having visited the region of Catalonia and Barcelona being the capital of that region, I used my experience there and put my knowledge into the research for The International Edition of The Wanderer.

My interest in travel started at a young age since I was lucky enough to travel to many different places all over the World with my family. One of my best holidays was when I visited Thailand in 2009. I have many amazing memories of this holiday, one of them being fortunate enough to ride on an elephant through a rain forest. Also while I was there I visited the capital city, Bangkok, which was another amazing experience but being from a small town in the middle of England I’ve never really experienced that much chaos in one place. Another place I’ve visited which is also one of the best is Brazil. We stayed in Natal what is in the north west of the country, just under the equator. While I was there I did many activities, one of them a buggy ride on the sand dunes. Travelling at a very fast speed along the sand dunes, going up and down the dunes was an experience that I will never forget. Me and my family also went to a local football match in Natal, as we are all big football fans. The atmosphere in the stadium was incredible nothing like what I’ve experienced back home in England. One of the reasons I love to travel is seeing the different cultures and how people live so differently to others. Travelling also helped me understand how fortunate I am having a roof over my head and food on the table. I remember walking along a beach in Brazil and seeing a family sat around a fire just under a piece of scrap metal and wood and made me understand how lucky I am.

I am very fortunate to be able to travel around the world and another reason I came to YHA is because they give the opportunity to kids and adults to be able to travel and allow them to have experience of meeting new people from different places and making new friends. Travelling is one of the best things I’ve ever done and will hopefully carry on doing and I think it’s amazing that YHA are giving that opportunity to people that aren’t as fortunate as me.

Emily spent time with many departments at the YHA National Office in Matlock, Derbyshire. Everyone she spent time with commented on what a conscientious, switched on and engaged individual she was. Two weeks after her placement, the Volunteering Team got the loveliest surprise – a big box of biscuits and a lovely card from Emily! YHA would like to wish Emily the best of luck for the future – she’s bound to go on to great things!

PS. Thanks for the biscuits Emily!