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    THB College’s Dual Training programme is designed to boost skills acquisition, employability and job opportunities for young people. The aim is to create a talent pool of “student-employees” who can continue their academic training, delivered by THB College, whilst continuing to work at the establishments that make up the THB hotels chain.

    Each year, THB College selects its most outstanding student, based on academic results, attitude and commitment to the social responsibility projects that form part of the transversal competences included in the students’ training itineraries.

    Roberto Lisboa joined the programme in the 2017-18 academic year. Robert is enthusiastic and has great dreams for the future, although he makes sure his feet remain firmly on the ground; in short, a true survivor, eager to grab the opportunities life offers and to turn any setbacks into projects for the future. He is brimming over with infectious energy and joy, despite his humble background, growing up permanently at his mother’s side.

    His dream to become a physical education teacher spurred him to join the Dual project as a way of funding his studies and working to achieve his dream. However, little by little, his career underwent a change of direction as he became increasingly passionate about the Dual project, the hospitality industry in general, and of course, THB hotels in particular. We are delighted to have the chance to interview him today.

    Good morning Roberto. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and share your experience. We’d like you to start by telling us something about yourself.

    Good morning. My name is Roberto Lisboa, I’m 21 years old and a Brazilian citizen. I was born in Rio de Janeiro, although at the age of 10 I moved to Majorca with my sister and I have been living here ever since, with my mother, my sister, my mother’s sister and her two children. We love living in Majorca, an island that also offers us better working and living conditions.

    I studied Year 6 at the Jaume I Junior School in in the centre of Palma, before moving to the Guillem Sagrera Secondary School. I changed school again, and completed the last two years of my secondary education at the San Alfonso María de Ligoria School.

    I later enrolled in a vocational training course in Sports, but I didn’t like it. I then tried a similar qualification in Technology, but I didn’t get on too well.

    How did you hear about THB College’s Dual Training programme?

    I heard about the Dual Training programme offered by the THB College through the job vacancies included in the SOIB employment programme and decided to put my name down for it.

    When did you start and what did the programme consist of?

    My first interview was with Fernanda; she got me hooked right from the start and we started on 4th March. The thing that appealed to me most was the opportunity to combine work and study. It’s a really great idea. Something else I really liked is the confidence placed in our personal development, which has been a real help throughout.

    I was really excited about enrolling in the programme. We started off with the presentations, which were followed by a series of tests to break the ice and enable the teachers to get to know us, and, most importantly, to analyse our teamworking abilities.

    We started with the theory, and then came the exams. Next, we were divided into 3 groups and sent to the various hotels. I spent my first year at the THB María Isabel Hotel – it was an extremely satisfying experience and I learnt a lot: I love working with the guests, making sure that everything is to their liking and that they enjoy their holiday to the full. The next year I worked at the THB El Cid Hotel. At that hotel the focus was on the bar and restaurant, and I really enjoyed it. That is what convinced me to carry on training, which I did until graduation.

    What was the graduation ceremony like?

    On graduation day I received the surprise of my life when it was announced that I was top of the class. It was completely unexpected. I was convinced that this honour would go to a first year student as a form of motivation. The first thing I did was to look at my family, and Inés, who is an amazing classmate. I was so surprised I really didn’t know how to react. I didn’t know that the THB College awarded a special prize; I thought it would just mean that I would be valued that bit more, and that maybe I would be offered a better job; I never imagined for a moment that there was a prize involved.

    What was the prize THB College offered you?

    It was a fabulous experience which consisted of a trip on a sailing boat as a volunteer with the Tursiops organisation, working with another seven people on a research project into sperm whales.

    Tell us about the experience on the Tursiops Association’ sailing boat.

    At first I was a bit apprehensive about spending a week with seven people who I had never met before, but it was one of the best experiences of my life.

    When I arrived I was introduced to the skippers, Marga and Txema, who were really great and made me feel very welcome. First of all we were given a series of instructions, before anchoring off Sa Ràpita, and on day two we started looking out for the sperm whales. We were given details of the process involved; we had to get up early, do the cleaning and get lunch ready – we all shared the work. We were organised into groups of two, and from 10 p.m. onwards each pair did two-hour watches, looking out for and monitoring the sperm whales.

    The work consisted of spotting and locating sperm whales off the Balearic Island coasts and identifying them, in order to obtain as much information as possible.

    These impressive cetaceans are located via acoustic techniques, as sperm whales spend long periods of time underwater.

    ​Once a whale has been spotted, the idea is to photograph its caudal fin as it dives straight down into the depths and to try and obtain skin and excrement samples.

    Each animal’s caudal fin is unique, which is why it is the part of the animal that is photographed, as this enables us to identify it each year.

    Skin and excrement samples provide information about the animal’s diet and the genetic structure of the pods in order to determine the degree of isolation of the Mediterranean whale population.


    THB hotels, as part of its commitment to the oceans, the environment and local communities, signed a collaboration agreement with the Tursiops association in order to collaborate with the important work they do to protect cetaceans, offering fantastic opportunities for volunteers and truly enriching experiences.

    TURSIOPS is a not-for-profit association that works to conserve and protect cetaceans, as well as promoting the dissemination of research projects conducted into these animals. Its activity is centred particularly in our region, the western Mediterranean. The research is carried out as part of specific observation campaigns using state-of-the-art acoustic technology for the study of these wild animals.

    “For the THB College, Robert’s arrival was a breath of fresh air for the project in progress that year. He was always willing to collaborate and help out; he managed to keep the team united during those inevitable moments of tension. He is a born leader, whose charisma and kindness immediately won over his classmates and teachers.
    But more than that, the boy we met three years ago, who told us that his dream was for his mother to be proud of him, has today become a true professional who is passionate about his work and a better person than ever.
    Fun and full of energy, he is just the type of person we want on our team; someone who is on our side, contributing his light and enthusiasm. A sincere person with the ability to send out positive vibes.”
    The THB College Team

    “When it comes to Junior, all we can say is “Thank you”. You sent us a great guy: hardworking, cheerful and enthusiastic and a great teammate! We’ve found a true friend!
    All the best”.
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