Jamie Fee, BelfastI can safely say that making the decision to come to sunny Florida is the best decision I have made and should be an easy decision for you! I came out here with very little experience, so don’t let that stop you. The hours are long, it’s not all sun and fun – but the lifestyle you get to enjoy and the experience you gain is priceless. Don’t be afraid to come out here by yourself. I did and it was daunting, but now I have made lifelong friends. I hope this encourages you to come for the experience, as I can’t recommend it enough!
David Mazzucchi 2013BSG has given me what I can safely say was the best year of my life. I absolutely loved every minute of my time in the US and I couldn’t have imagined a better experience if I tried. What I don’t know is how I was meant to go back to living in the UK after such an amazing year! Rasheeda, when I was first in touch with you about going over to the US, I remember you forwarded us a few emails from students who had done the trip and were thanking you for an amazing year. At the time I thought “ahh how soppy! I’ll not be like that!” Well, to be honest, I have never been more devastated to leave somewhere in my life. I built a nice life in the US over the past year. I have a great group of friends in both New York and Florida, who I would consider as some of the best people I have ever met, so I know I’ll always have an excuse to go back whenever possible. I got to travel and see so much of the country. (You should advise all of your interns to work hard, just for the time off work to go and travel.) I have learned so much over these 12 months, from simple things like the value of hard work to other things such as where I want my life to head. I couldn’t recommend this experience more to anyone if I tried.
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.
Nicole Bateman, 2012The best part of this experience was being independent in such a great country. I’ve always had a passion for travelling and meeting new people is my way of life. I will never forget all the fantastic friends I made both at the club and in my social life. Being able to get to know club members and club managers who take an actual interest in your life and future is a great opportunity to discover links to different industries. Never having been in a full time situation for a whole year, this is helped me build skills that I will need in my career. I know I can be a strong leader and I am very self motivated. This experience enhanced my confidence and ability to push myself to achieve my goals.
Heidrun Nilsen 2014My time in America was an adventure like no other. It’s the hardest I have ever worked in my life, but at the end of it, I left with memories and friends that will last a lifetime – not to mention the experience! It’s a different world out there, and it’s a world you should experience with your own eyes. I am so grateful I got this opportunity and even if you’re not too sure if you want to grab it just yet, all I can say is do it. Go for it with all your heart and soul and I promise – you won’t regret it.
Gemma Armstrong, 2012I thought that going to America would be a brilliant experience (and I was right), one of those things, that if you don’t take the chance, then you might regret it later on in life. Also, I thought it would be a great way to see how a different culture’s hospitality varies from ours, and how the businesses function over there. But I was a little scared, to be honest. I had never been away from home for longer than two weeks, so it was a little daunting to know that if I got offered a placement in the USA, that I would be away from home and family for a year. Once I arrived, however, I met so many new and charismatic people, not only the other interns I was placed with, but also all the other staff. From that tentative start, I now have some new lifelong friends. I loved getting the chance to experience life in a different country and I also enjoyed learning in the Pastry Department. I understood from Rasheeda that season can get busy, I just never realized exactly how busy it could get. You’re always told that it is a very busy job, but I don’t think you really fully realize it until you actually do it. The result is that I have grown as a person, and gained far more experience and confidence in myself and what I do. I learnt various new things about the hospitality industry and country clubs, and a lot more about pastry in my year.
Nayim Galeb, 2013 – Huddersfield UniversityThis program was really helpful for me. I did have theoretical knowledge before I came here, but after I joined Pine Tree Golf Club, I got the greatest opportunity to learn about the golf business and management, while gaining loads of practical experience. Pine Tree management staff has taught me how to use my theoretical knowledge and past experience in practical work, and also how to manage members and function well within a team. I have also had the chance to meet many new people from different countries and make new friends who are going to remain friends for life. It is a great experience for me and for my future career. Thanks again for giving me a great opportunity. Butler Search Group rocks!
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.
Sam Gibbon 2015I went to America through BSG not knowing what to expect, nervous and hesitant. Now I’m home after finishing my year, and I can look back and see how amazing an opportunity it was. I grew as a person and I experienced new and exciting things, but most of all, the year abroad fueled my ambition for the future. My future goals are now bigger and better than ever and I feel like they are more achievable because of my experiences abroad. Frank and Rasheeda were always there in my times of need, and I have met some lifelong friends from all corners of the globe. I wouldn’t take it back for anything.