Dear prospective student, you are about to make a decision that might change your life forever. Even if it does not, it surely will impact your life and you as a person, no doubt about that. When I told my family that I wanted to go to The International Butler Academy to become a professional butler, my dad looked at me and said: "What?" After I repeated what I had said before, he asked: "Why?" Why would someone want to do, what I, and apparently you, want to do? I am sure that some of you had similar experiences when informing your loved ones about your possible plans.
For me, the answer was a simple one: I am a service person. It is what I want to do with my life. It is my dream. To make this dream come true, and to learn what service really means, there is of course no better place than TIBA. After some deliberation, TIBA was an easy decision, one I have never regretted or doubted during my time there - no matter how hard the training sometimes was. Upon entering TIBA, you open the door to a new and exciting world - a world many people only dream of. Still, it is not for everyone. You have to be made for it; you have to truly want it. At TIBA everything is about your attitude and your personal will to learn, grow and excel.
Only after a few days at the academy, did the spirit of TIBA infect my fellow classmates and me - mind and body. As soon as we set foot inside, and even more so when we put on our butler uniform, we all changed. The way we walked, talked, ate, sat, stood - everything changed. It was actually funny to see how people straightened up and started behaving differently.
Every day, every minute at TIBA is learning. Sometimes it is more obvious than other times, but you will be learning all the time from your instructors and from your fellow students. Learning at TIBA is like a surprise egg. You sometimes just do not know what you are about to get.
This factor of surprise was driven to a completely different level when at the end of our course my fellow students and I were lucky enough to be invited to China to celebrate the 15th anniversary of TIBA. We were all beside ourselves with joy. None of us had ever been to China and going there now for free seemed completely unreal. We left Amsterdam and landed the next day after a ten-hour flight. We were welcomed very warmly by the Director of The International Butler Academy China, and by a TIBA graduate who works there as head butler for one of TIBA's Chinese clients.
For us students, China was a true adventure. We were able to experience Chinese culture, and also most interestingly, its service culture firsthand. We learned from our Chinese colleagues and exchanged knowledge and ideas. During our stay, we were invited to participate in a grand award gala with numerous prominent and famous guests where we were asked to demonstrate butler service on stage and in front of TV cameras. It was an unforgettable event and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Besides that, it was a lot of fun! Our journey to China was truly a very memorable and educational trip none of us will ever forget.
The weeks at TIBA are tough. Every day, you will spend at least twelve hours working, and even once you come back to your bedroom, your day is not over just yet - assignments need to be worked on, and notes need to be revised. It is a strenuous time for the body and mind without hardly any time to relax. It is exhausting, highly demanding, and arduous, but it is also a lot of fun. Sometimes time seems to fly, and sometimes it seemed to stand still. However, once the time at TIBA is over, it seemed to have passed in the blink of an eye.
All students in my class have grown so much in such a small amount of time. We had to grow and we did. I am only 24, but for me personally, these weeks were the most defining time in my life, truly a life-changing experience.
The TIBA community is a very tight-knit group. There are only a good handful of people who can really understand what you went through at school and who shared this same experience. During the training program, you will meet some incredible people who share their knowledge with you, and you will form friendships that last a lifetime. Now, after having been trained at TIBA I can fulfill my dream and go anywhere I want, to work as a butler. So could you.
The training at TIBA is an investment into your future, and it is worth it. All the best of luck to you!
Sincerely, Johanna Wild - Germany
Graduate of The International Butler Academy - March 2012