Harriet AisthorpeI would highly recommend Butler Search Group (BSG) program to students who are looking to do an international placement. Never having any experience within the food and beverage industry before, I went into the job very open minded. Being placed at Broken Sound Club, I wasn’t the only one without experience; everyone was in the same boat. The Club has given me many opportunities in the few months I have been here – I have trained in all different areas, including two Main Dining Rooms, many different events, and at the Front Desk. For people who are open to learning different skills and willing to work hard for a year within the Hospitality or Events Industry, this is the placement for you! Be willing to take every opportunity you can get and grab it with both hands. Also, the Florida lifestyle is not all that bad either!
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!
Jack Bowen, 2012 – Bucks UniversityI can’t think of a better place to come to than Harbour Ridge, for the experiences I have had and the people I have met. All the guys from England I met are brilliant, fun to be around, and they have helped make the experience a once in a lifetime opportunity. I wouldn’t change a thing that has happened here. We already have plans for when we are home to take big road trips to see everyone at their universities and a trip to Ireland to see the girls there on St. Patrick’s Day. This experience has made me really find out who I am, and what skills I have to offer in a variety of different areas within F&B and the Golf Operations of a very expensive and exclusive country club. Everybody obviously has had their sad moments where they miss home/family/friends, but we are now so close that everyone here is your family and I will never forget them, even after this experience is over. After all, you won’t be having Christmas day sitting on the beach drinking champagne in England! Again, I would like to thank BSG for all you have done for all of us and hope that some of the students you show this to trust you and take the chance you can offer like I have, because I will always be extremely grateful and recommend this to everybody without even a second’s hesitation.
Harriett Gibbons 2015I can honestly say I am having the absolute time of my life here and at St. Andrews Country Club. I love everything about America, including our apartment, the people, Boca Raton, Florida… the list goes on. This may sound odd but I actually really enjoy going into the club each day! Even the double shifts don’t seem that hard to do. The club experience has proven that this is the industry for me. Everyone at work is just great, and some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life and I’m already dreading the day I have to say goodbye to everyone. St Andrews has now opened up the new Lakeside restaurant and I’ve been selected to work there. I am amazed at the amount of things I’ve learnt so far; they’ve taught us SO much in such a short space of time. The attention to detail in fine dining is unreal here at St. Andrews, and I already know when I go back to the UK I’ll be ahead of the game, as the service standards in America are lots better than back home. I could go on forever but I just wanted to say thank you for this whole experience. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I will cherish it forever.
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.
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!
Steff Kidd, 2014I am loving Woodway Country Club – you couldn’t have picked a better club for me. I have become best of friends with my new roomie within one week! This club is an amazing organization with great managers, staff and members. We have been getting randomly upset lately because we know our time in America is nearly up. I am going to cry through the whole the plane journey home, but I guess everything good comes to an end! I was so nervous for months before arriving in America. Looking back, that was so stupid. I have met the best friends here. We girls are all very different, but we had an instant click and have shared a great many memories! I can’t wait to go to Belfast to see them! I learnt a lot about myself in Florida and brought that knowledge up north with me. Everything just got better and better through the year and there is so much I will take with me for my future. The places I have seen in the last year are unbelievable. To name a few… Miami, West Palm Beach, the Everglades, Key West, a Miami Heat basketball game, a Miami Marlins baseball game, Universal Studios, Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens, a Bahamas cruise, Las Vegas, New York, Boston, Jay Z and Beyoncé in concert. We still hope to get to Six Flags, see the Mets play, Niagara Falls, and Washington, D.C. Anybody hesitating to have this experience is crazy. Getting away from England for this long period has been the best thing for me and I now plan to go to Thailand. I can’t thank you enough for all your help and for taking care of me. I cannot quite believe how quickly my time in America has gone, this has been the best year of my life without a doubt and I recommend it to anybody! Thank you for everything.
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!
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.
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.