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Adam turns a negative situation into a positive by joining the NHS

Adam Matthew
Adam Matthew, an International Tourism Management student at RGU, was set to go on what he hoped to be an experience of a lifetime – a six month placement in New York. Unfortunately, it was cut short. Read how he turned a negative situation into a positive by joining the NHS to take part in the fight against Covid-19.

I’m a fourth year International Tourism Management student at RGU’s School of Creative and Cultural Business.

During my third year, I planned to go on a six month placement to work at a country club called Waccabuc in upstate New York. The experience was supposed to be an opportunity for me to gain knowledge in a high-class service in the hospitality industry and build strong connections with people. It was also a chance for me to see some of the country and learn more about the local American culture – as it would have been my first time in the USA.

But this experience was short lived when the coronavirus made its way to America and turned New York into an epicentre.

Only three weeks in the country I had to return home when everything began to shutdown in a conclusion with the club unable to see a future opening date. After leaving, I do appreciate how lucky I was to get back home with my family as it was a short window to get out of New York before things got much worse.

The day I arrived back in the UK was day one of lockdown where I could witness the immediate impact where all cafes, bars and shops where closed in London Heathrow airport. In the loss of such an experience, I do remind myself of how other people’s situations are much worse from what the virus took from me. Part of growing up is to understand when things don’t go to plan and accepting the things we don’t like, things that we wish were never true. This made things easier for me to move on with without being so upset about what happened.

Once I made it home, I spent a month looking for work everywhere such as supermarkets, delivery drivers, anything to get me back on my feet. One day I was on the phone with my Step Mum who worked for the NHS and she suggested that I try looking for work in the hospital as they always need cleaners, porters, and delivery drivers too. At first, I was in doubt that I had no chance of getting a job with the NHS and I felt that I was not good enough. But after looking into available positions and completing an application form, I was surprisingly offered an interview and they offered me a job on the spot.

To this day I work as a domestic assistant in the children’s hospital where I am responsible for the cleanliness and sanitary of the A&E wards to minimise any risks of infections. I am very proud of what I am doing to help in this ongoing pandemic, and I believe this will create a huge positive impact on my future employability. By taking part to help in the hospital at such a time when that help is needed most has displayed one of my hidden skills throughout my work experience in the last five years which is my will to be caring and helpful whenever possible. Giving can take courage after loss of something but the more resilient you are to changes the less courage you need to be a giver and not a taker. In the near future, I hope to work in the hotel industry where a lot of caring and giving is needed for guests/customers and I believe that this skill would make myself a natural exception to gain such employment possibilities.

Positives that I take from this experience is having the opportunity to go to New York which is something not many people get to do. In the three weeks that I was in the state I did get to visit the city a couple of times and check out Times Square, as well as getting to the top of the Rockefeller centre. I learned a fair bit about the industry of country clubs and gaining training on the standards of service required. The major positive from this experience was having the ability to offer my help in the National Health Service which for me is an honour to help in this accredited service in the work people do for this country.

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