Steph McEvoy 2013When we first met Rasheeda at university, she talked about how much doing an internship would change us as a person and turn the friends we met into our family. I liked the idea, but didn’t fully believe. After a year in America, it is 100% true. I applied for the internship with three other girls from Uni, and at the Orientation Day in London, we met two other girls from a university in Portsmouth. Over the summer leading up to America, we spoke to each other quite a lot and decided to live together when we got to Florida. The six of us have been inseparable ever since. Florida was a bit of a shock at first. We started working straight away and the training was intense, but we made friends from all over the world: South Africa, Ireland, Romania. The training and work, although hard, was always fun. Our accommodation in Florida was amazing. We had a balcony overlooking a lake and a communal pool to use on our days off. There were around 30 of us living in the complex, all working as interns at the club. The club provided transport for us to and from work, and after work we all went on nights out together, hiring limos and party buses, as this was cheaper than taxis. Around busy periods, such as Christmas and holidays, the hours were quite hard and tiring, but everyone being together helped. I won’t say the job was easy, because it wasn’t, but having the right attitude and being motivated definitely helps. We did six months in Florida and were devastated when it came time to move on to New Jersey. It was so sad to leave all our new family and we thought we’d never be able to settle into another club. I know it was difficult to find a club that would keep the six of us together and we’re so so so grateful that BSG managed it. The six of us decided to drive from Florida to New Jersey over five days. It was a 25-hour drive and we stopped in so many different states and got to experience loads of new places and cultures different from Florida. The trip was so much fun. Arriving in New Jersey, we thought we’d had all the training we needed at St. Andrews Country Club and expected the job to be a breeze, but it was completely different. We struggled at first to settle in and get used to the new way that things worked. It was also hard to get used to there being fewer interns to work with, as it was a much smaller club. Although the six of us were together, at first we felt a bit lonely. As Rasheeda had said though, within a few weeks, we were completely settled, with new friends, and enjoying the job. New York was 20 minutes away on a bus, and we made the most of this at every opportunity. When we first got there, we were in the city at least three times a week: on nights out, in the mornings before work, and on our days off. We met our friends from Florida in the city regularly as well, even though they had gone to different clubs up north. We made more friends in New Jersey, in and outside of the club, and ended up with quite a large group of friends again. The members at our club up north were a lot more easygoing than in Florida and very interested in us and our internships. We became quite close to a lot of the members. We didn’t think our experience up north would ever compare to Florida, but we were just as sad to leave and are already considering going back when we graduate. None of this would have been possible without Rasheeda and BSG. Thank you for the best year EVER!
Sophie Buckley, ManchesterI would definitely recommend this experience to everybody who has the opportunity to do it. At first, I was very nervous about being so far away from home and all by myself. I didn’t know a single person when I came out here, which was very scary and at times I wondered why I was doing this! But it has been the best experience I have ever had – and at the time of writing, I’m only five months into it. I have gained so much confidence, I still can’t believe I am here. It is like a dream. I have met so many people and I know I will remain friends with many of them. You get to meet people from all over the world, of all different ages, and it really opens your eyes to the diversity of our world! I have gained so much work experience; I’m confident now to go home and apply for any job, because I have the professional knowledge and experience. But I also know a lot more about culture and how to interact with people. I can’t express how glad I am that I took this opportunity and how grateful I am that Rasheeda gave me this chance to prove myself. I would recommend that any student jump at the opportunity, because I have learnt so much and I am having the time of my life.
Kathryn Glasgow 2012I keep reminiscing about my time in Greenwich, which was one of the best times of my life. It was such a treat to work there with such fantastic people, and I have Butler Search Group to thank for the experience.
Carys Browning – Sheffield Hallam University – 2019Professional Experience Before moving to America I already had a wealth of F&B experience as I had worked in Pubs, restaurants and cafes. However, nothing I had done before in the UK, came close to what I was to experience in the US. At first it was very daunting, things got stripped back to basics, which at the time I can remember thinking, why am I sitting in a classroom, being taught how to take orders and learning the menu off by heart (Yes menu tests were a thing in our club before you could even start on the floor.) But honestly, without that ‘classroom’ time, I definitely would have struggled. It helped me work in a way which was efficient so that I had more time to interact with the members and also more effectively. It also made me realise the importance of understanding the food menus and the dishes fully, we done a lot of food tastings so that whenever we got questions about the dish you could give them a genuine response as you had tasted it. Short-hand, if you don’t know it, learn it, and if you do, make sure it’s simple! This is a life saver, forever having to write down ‘NO TOMATO, LETTUCE, ONION’ will not only take forever, but the chef will not be your friend! The high standards that are instilled in you from the beginning, will never leave! Not only do you do you bring these into your work life, they are also in your personal life. You become more aware when eating out as to how the operation is run, how well the person is serving you, the way the food is served! It engulfs your life, but in the most amazing way possible. Although I have taken a different direction in my career and have moved out of the hospitality business and into Marketing (Although I do F&B marketing), America helped me get there. I am currently been living in Dubai and have been for the past 2 years, but it was my experience in America that got me here! Without it, I definitely don’t think I’d be in a job that I love doing in a city like Dubai! Personal Experience Here comes the cliché, you do not return the same person that steps on the plane! My mum was the first person to say this and I have to agree with her! Before I left for America, I was studying at Sheffield, which from where I live is a 4-hour drive, so was used to going without seeing my family for a couple months at a time, so the thought of moving 9 hours on a plane was daunting, but how exciting! I can remember listening to people who had been to America with BSG and them being ‘cliché’ saying, it will be the best year of your life, you will make friends forever and it will change you..bla bla.. the usual cliché stuff. But honestly it is so true! Although the work is hard, and at times you are working ridiculous hours a week, with no sleep, this is where you lean on the people you went with and they become your family! You are all in the same boat, so you bond over this incredible experience, I still keep in touch with the three girls I shared an apartment with and we are all meeting in the summer at one of the girls wedding! Not only do you meet different people from the UK, you meet different people globally! You learn about different cultures, languages and its incredible. This has definitely helped me adapt to living in Dubai, due to the diversity of cultures that not only are in the company I work for, but the place as a whole! I can honestly say that working in America completely changed my outlook on everything and changed me as a person (cliché) It made me realise that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone every now and again, if it wasn’t for America, I would not have got on the plane to Dubai in 2017 without knowing a single person! It was one of the best years of my life, it’s been 4/5 years since I went and I still to this day talk about my experience to people and they are amazed. If you are set about going, amazing, I am so jealous and excited for you to get to experience what I did. If you are unsure, go for it! It’s only a year of your life, and I guarantee you will love every second and wonder why you were ever unsure.
Felicity “Flicky” Massy Birch, 2015Thank you to BSG for bringing me out here! I have met the most amazing people and we have become lifelong friends. This is especially true of the girls I have spent my entire year with, experiencing things and seeing what America has to offer. I have had some great experiences and learnt so much, inside and outside of work. For anyone thinking of doing an experience like this, they certainly won’t regret it. I didn’t realize how much I would learn, not only about the hospitality industry, but also about the American culture. The country clubs are something else, but as much as they are hard work at times, you still have the best time and so much fun with the people you will meet. I’m so glad I did the split program, because New York is an incredible place to be and Connecticut is just beautiful!
Ciara Dale 2012The best part for me was establishing so many good friendships with all different cultures and nationalities. I also liked the parties and the mischief we got up to during our days and nights off! The trips we were able to make during the end of season, the memories I can take back with me, and the stories I can tell will be with me my whole life. I have benefited hugely from this experience, and now realize I can accomplish anything I put my mind to. I am not afraid of hard work. This whole experience has made me become more confident as a person in a working environment.
Adam Walsh, 2013As I look at my experience coming to work in America through Butler Search Group (BSG), I think the members and management at the club have been absolutely fantastic. Sometimes I think the long hours we work can be punishing, but seeing a nice paycheck after 60-70 hours is great. It makes us all feel like we are entering the “real world” now, which is perfect at my age. This experience has made me become more mature, not just a bit, but MASSIVELY. I have had to deal with changes and I have learned to make the most of any situation. I am now a better bartender and a more efficient server, which will help me as I move on in my career. I now have friends from America, England, Ireland, Turkey, Poland, etc., so it has been beneficial not only from the working aspect, but the social side too. To be honest, I really want to come back to America after I graduate as I have never been happier! This has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. I have gained an insight into the American culture and lifestyle, especially in the hospitality industry. I’ve met a great bunch of people who no doubt will be friends for life. What could be better than gaining knowledge, earning money, and spending every day in the sun.
Danny McGee, 2015My placement in America not only exceeded my expectations, but opened up the door of global opportunity to me. Yes, we can all agree it’s scary coming out to America; for some, like myself, it was the first time outside of Europe. I spent four months in New Jersey, meeting people from Ireland, Liverpool, London and Poland. We all were nervous about meeting one another, but we quickly became a family. I spent eight months in Florida, where I made lifelong friendships with people from England, South Africa, Bulgaria and Argentina…not to forget Americans.Another instance where we became a family and I enjoyed all of it. On the professional side, this year has helped structure me towards what I wish to achieve in life and my personal growth and maturity levels dramatically increased! Frank and Rasheeda are two of the most caring and generous people I met. They will help you with any issues and queries. One final point is what my mum and dad said to me when I was deciding about America: They said, “jump at the opportunity!” To future students, best of luck to you on your placement experience.
Helen Ravenscourt 2014The opportunity to come to America arose as I was about to graduate university. I had a great job as a duty manager in a restaurant, but I definitely wanted more. From a young age, I have always known I wanted to travel and as hard as it was, I had to let go of some concerns to actually live my dream of travelling. Before deciding to come to America, I definitely had doubts. Was it the right path to take after university? Would I miss home and family too much? Would things change too much while I am away? Those were my main concerns, but one thought overpowered all of that, the experience I was going to gain not only in the industry but world knowledge. I decided the best way for me to up my game was to gain knowledge in the industry from another country. And where better to learn hospitality than a country that has a reputation for its fantastic customer service? Homesickness is something that might occur, but it is part of adapting to a new culture, new home and an extended family. The friends I made when I moved to Florida, helped to ease my longing for Liverpool. They became my family; people I went on new adventures with every day off; they were going through the same things as me. I can honestly say that within a few weeks I had settled into my new home, and thought to myself, what was I worried about?! There are people I will never forget, and even now, moving to a new state, we stay in touch and see each other all the time. We spent Christmas together, celebrated birthdays and I intend to carry on the new traditions! It has also truly been an experience to watch my new family grow, from who they were, to the professional, outgoing and fantastic people they are now. Not only have I gained all of that from just seven months so far, I have seen parts of the world I may never get to see again, such as the Florida Keys. Now, being in New York State, we have trips planned to Niagara Falls and Atlantic City. I have learned so much about hospitality and real service, and know that if I were to apply for a managerial role, I would excel in that role, based on everything I have learned here. A degree matters, yes, but my time here has put all the theory I learned into practice. This has been a journey that I will value for the rest of my life, with memories I will not ever forget!
Emily Asher 2015When Butler Search Group (BSG) came to my college to speak to us about the work placement, I thought it was a dream. Coming from such a small town I never thought anything like this would be in my reach. But BSG helped me and guided me, and before I knew it, I was living in America, working at a platinum star country club! I am so thankful and appreciative of everything BSG has done for me. This has been by far the best and most rewarding experience of my life.