3 August 2022

Training hero with migration history

He is 33, came from Syria to Germany seven years ago and has now been honoured by the Lower Bavarian District President Rainer Haselbeck for his outstanding vocational school diploma: We are talking about Fares Mahmoud, until recently a hotel management apprentice at the Baby & Kinder Bio-Resort ULRICHSHOF. “It was one of the most beautiful and emotional moments in my life when, in the midst of the audience, I was presented with my certificate by the school headmaster Xaver Dietrich and realised that I was not wrong and that I can achieve anything I want,” Fares reports, visibly moved.

After graduating from high school in his home country and studying English literature for three years, Fares came to Germany in September 2015. “The war raging in Syria was of course the reason for fleeing,” he explains, “but the real motivation for this adventure was my faith. Because I believe that life is a journey and you also have to travel. On the way, there are many stations where you can live, love, learn and work. I chose Germany as my first stop because of my faith in people and human values – and of course because of the delicious beer,” Fares grins broadly. After various German courses and an integration course, he began vocational training as a hotel manager at the Baby & Kinder Bio-Resort ULRICHSHOF in September 2019.

"Everyone should choose the profession they are passionate about."

Julia Dobmeier (Human Resources)

Julia Dobmeier from the HR department was immediately impressed by Fares: “I immediately noticed his open-minded, obliging and cheerful manner. I had no concerns at all about the language barrier, as Fares already had a good command of German and was also very willing to learn.” The experienced personnel manager attaches particular importance to one thing when hiring new staff: “Everyone should choose the profession they are passionate about. To find that out, it’s helpful to do an internship beforehand. And then you should just listen to yourself and do the training – no matter how old you are.” For Fares, his age played almost no role. “On my first day at school, after the introductions, I briefly felt like an outsider, because I was 30 at the time and some of the others were only half that age. That’s when I realised that in addition to the normal learning for school, I also had to learn to make a connection between myself and my classmates from a different generation, language and culture. Fortunately, I succeeded and after a while, deep friendships developed. We learned and partied together. And if someone ever needed an adult to talk about an important issue, they talked to me. I think I was not only the oldest student in the class, but in the whole school,” Fares laughs.

In the three years of training, Fares went through all the departments at the ULRICHSHOF: “I worked at the reception, in the restaurant and in housekeeping and not only learned a lot, but I also really enjoyed each area. The hotel offers a great opportunity to work with different guests from different cultures. You are guaranteed not to get bored because every day and every guest is something new and special. In my opinion, a career in the hotel industry is the best choice if you want to work abroad later on.

This is also the opinion of the three other ULRICHSHOF hotel trainees Rebekka Haller, Christian Rem and Marco Alfano who, together with Fares, also successfully passed their training. ULRICHSHOF junior manager and DEHOGA Bavaria training ambassador Nikolaus Brandl is proud of his protégés: “We are very satisfied with the certificates of our trainees, so that we have made each of them an offer of employment. Fortunately, all four have accepted,” says Nikolaus Brandl. “We have seen that we have more and more need for really competent skilled workers. As a training company, you are of course happy if you have the opportunity to take on all trainees.” There are currently still places available at the ULRICHSHOF for a training start in 2023. “I would like to point out to future trainees that with the revision of the training regulations in the gastronomy and hotel industry, the training professions have once again become much more attractive. With the revised training of “Hotel Management Assistants”, we now have a training occupation in our portfolio that also teaches important contents for middle management. And the other professions have also greatly improved in quality in terms of digitalisation and sustainability.

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