Erik Wouters

Dear prospective student,

It is with great pride, honor, and gratitude that I look back on my training program at The International Butler Academy. Here is why.

At the age of 47, I was made redundant. What was out of my reach at age 20, becoming a professionally trained butler, now suddenly became possible. I decided to commit myself to fulfill this dream that lingered in my mind for all those years. The question quickly arose: ”Which school is simply the best?” “Where will I get the best possible training, one that provides me with the best possible outlook on a career in the private service business?” Several arguments led me to TIBA, not in the least because of its long-standing tradition of training butlers.

Two important characteristics of learning are repetition and time. It takes time to assimilate information into knowledge. Tiba did then and now offers the most extended training programs available on the market. Even more importantly however is that TIBA offers the unique situation of on-site training in the most realistic training setting possible. You get an immersion in what will become your professional life. You live, work, and study at Huize Damiaan.

For the duration of the training program, you get a taste of the life you have chosen. You are not simply re-enacting but instead are living it. From the names of the participants published on the incredibly informative website, I could deduce that I would end up in a multi-cultural environment if I were to go with TIBA. Not only is that enrichment on a personal level but again it is a wonderful preparation for what is going to come.

TIBA is maybe not the cheapest program available. If you are going after a certificate or a paper, then there might be cheaper solutions. However, we all know the saying: “the sweetness of the low price is long gone when the bitterness of the poor quality remains.” The latter will not escape employers.

TIBA was no summer camp either. The focus was clearly on discipline, studying, and making progress. Progress both in our butling skills and in our attitude as butlers-to-be. TIBA taught me to provide service as unobtrusive as possible, and yet to anticipate every possible need an employer may have. Do not let people ask for service but get it to them before they ask for it.

The butler skills you may master quickly to an acceptable level, but the change in attitude needs a more profound base. Attitude training is exactly where the length of the program showed its beneficial character for me as a student. And I am still training today, but luckily for me, on a sound foundation. The training program at The International Butler Academy was not only life-changing on a professional level. It did the same on a personal level as well. The program affected me very strongly. In the end, I chose a profession where making others happy, and making their life easier, would become very satisfying for me. TIBA gave me this “caterpillar moment.”

TIBA provided me with an internship of 6 months with one of their clients in the Middle East. After three months, this client offered me a full-time job that I happily accepted. I count on being in private service for the rest of my professional life.

I registered with several agencies (in case of...), and I noticed that when mentioning TIBA that my training as a professional Butler was never questioned. The reputation of TIBA as a professional Butler school was enough to convince agencies of my skills and attitude. I did not know that at the time when I registered with TIBA, then of course, as a potential student at the time, and is for me important to testify to colleagues-to-be.

I am extremely proud to be one of TIBA’s Ambassadors. Promoting TIBA to students thinking of entering the profession is something I can easily do wholeheartedly and unreservedly. Submitting yourself to the conditions and rules of TIBA is easy if you are committed to and focused on your goal. I could not have wished for better preparation. TIBA did what it promised. A very big THANK YOU.

Sincerely, Erik Wouters - Belgium
Graduate of The International Butler Academy - November 2015

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