Whether you are one of our current, past or prospective students, I am sure you are keeping up to date with the BSG Team and what we are all up to!
As you may already know, the BSG team recently expanded where 2 became 5! Yes, Rasheeda & Frank decided to take on 3 more staff – Muffy, Zee and Kerry. For those of you who have been on the BSG Internship, you will know that it is quite hard to keep in touch with people in the same state as you, never mind those back at home. So as you can imagine, with Zee doing his travel/work lifestyle from all over the world, Muffy working full-time along with caring for 3 children & Kerry being from across the pond in a different time zone, it’s not always easy keeping connected on a day-to-day basis! So, with that, a BSG Retreat was organized.
When I got the email inviting me to Florida directly after Christmas I was thrilled! Firstly, this meant it was going to be the first time I was going to meet the entire BSG Team – my new colleagues and secondly, I would get away from the cold, damp weather of Ireland!
After enduring the long haul flight with connections, I finally reached West Palm Beach at 1:30am on January 2nd! Lesson 1 for prospective students – don’t waste your money or time flying home for Christmas. Flights are limited at this time of year with ridiculous itinerary’s and connections! Plus, the fact that nothing will have changed at home, you will be itching to get to the sunny Christmas in Florida and regretting the money you had just spent when you could have went to the Bahamas, Vegas or somewhere else on that American Bucket List of yours! Frank & Rasheeda met with me at the airport with warm hugs smiles (despite the time of the morning)! Already pre-arranged, they dropped me off my beautiful accommodation in Madison Green Links. Yes, it was almost being back as a student with everything arranged prior to your arrival!
Next to arrive was Muffy. Nervous yet excited to meet her for the first time, I was comforted that her husband is Irish as I knew instantly that my strong Donegal accent wasn’t going to be an issue! Muffy flew in from the Carolina’s & was greeted with a spicy Bloody Mary! Little did I know until I looked back at my emails, she had preordered this! Thankfully, Rasheeda & Frank being the fantastic hosts they are, they knew I wasn’t big into spicy food and automatically made mine a little less hot! As the sun started to shine, we arrived at “Key Lime Bar”, one of the best TIKI Bar’s in South Florida. Here we met Zee whom instantly made Muffy & me feel welcome. After enjoying lunch overlooking the lake, we made our way back to our accommodation to prepare for dinner at Rasheeda & Frank’s home.
The next morning was an early start with a jam-packed agenda for the BSG Meeting. Trust me, driving into the fabulous grounds of Admiral’s Cove Country Club made the early morning worthwhile! I’ve had a good few meetings in my time, but I can honestly say that this was definitely one of the more glamorous settings! Enjoying a breakfast overlooking the marina where members’ yachts where moored, I could already tell that the new BSG team where going to take the hospitality world by storm! With Muffy chairing the meeting, an array of issues, topics and suggestions where discussed. Things which where going to allow BSG to grow were debated and alternatives to what was currently being done was questioned on how can it be done better. Our NEW website was toured and discussed and in-between times; we enjoyed a business lunch in Admiral’s Bistro under a large umbrella, shading us from the hot sun beating down. After a day of discussions, we adjourned day 1 refreshed, excited for the movements & progress for 2016. Later that evening, Frank & Rasheeda prepared dinner where we enjoyed an evening of “ceol agus craic’.
The next morning started off with a stop off at Starbucks & and the collection of doughnuts – the perfect way to start any day. We made our way to have our 2nd and final day of the BSG Retreat. Again, day 2’s agenda was already pre-arranged by Muffy and with that, the planning of strategies, duties and travel began. Day 2 was shortened as our entire team had to prepare for arrival of students at our Annual BSG Holiday Party in O’Shea’s open top gaden on Clematis. This party allows students from each club to meet with each other again and enjoy a night of good food, drinks and music! The night went with a storming success with Rasheeda and Frank being “hosts with the mosts” as always! For Zee, Muffy and me, it was great to meet this year’s students and formally introduce ourselves as part of the BSG team for the very first time.
After a late night, it was an early start for Muffy as it was time to catch her flight back to the Carolinas. Having one more day, I enjoyed a day of Florida before preparing for my long journey back to Ireland where it was going to be a busy 2016!
The BSG Retreat couldn’t have gone any better for the team. Feeling refreshed and motivated for the year ahead, we are now back at our bases working hard on bringing a new group of students to USA to live their American Dream this year!!
Until next time,