In the first year of EHL’s curriculum each student partakes in a 6-month operational internship. However, only one student is selected to undertake their internship at Buckingham Palace, home of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.
This year, the lucky student is Umar Noor. He gave us a glimpse of life at Buckingham Palace and how he is enjoying this incredible and unique experience.
My name is Umar Noor. I am 19 years old and I am Pakistani British but I have lived in Switzerland for the past 18 years which has allowed me to obtain my Swiss citizenship. I love going out with friends and socializing as I consider myself a massive extravert. Before joining EHL, I attended an international school in Geneva.
I am doing my internship with The Royal Household in the U.K. I am a Footman which is basically a butler. When I work front of house I have many responsibilities which vary from serving dinner to 150 people to serving a royal tea tray for 2. When I work back of house, my responsibilities include setting up for various events. I could be getting the glass ready, choosing the center pieces for a dinner table and even polishing some of the most valuable china and silver in the world.
I am very grateful to have been given this job. Many people applied for it but I was very motivated and was really aiming for this great experience. To me, this internship is more than adding a prestigious name to my resume; it’s about learning hard work in a unique environment and developing my leadership and teamwork skills in an exceptional place that not many are able to access. The selection process was quite complicated as there were many interviews and motivational essays to write. I tried being myself during my interviews and was thinking to myself that I had made it this far and that I would be grateful for whatever happened.
The most challenging part of the job is definitely learning the different techniques we use in the royal household that not many hotels or private households would use. These techniques include butler service, silver service and buffet. The most rewarding is being able to serve and see amazing people and sceneries. I always walk through the staterooms and think to myself: “I can't believe I work here" .
I love London. It is probably my favorite city in the world. I have every weekend off which is when I can really enjoy the city. I am in touch with a lot of EHL students who are living in London and we are having an awesome time.
The staff is very kind and made of down to earth people. When you imagine a Royal Household employee, most people think of an old stuck up English servants who appears in downtown abbey. Everyone here is very cool to work with and everybody gets along.
This is one of the most incredible experiences I will ever have in my life. If you would like to do an internship here, you must really show you want it. Be motivated and be yourself. Talk about the skills you would like to bring to the household along with the ones you would like to learn. Be confident and go for it!