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.
Michael Smyth, BelfastI love the people I was with at Broken Sound Club. Everyone was friendly and even when you are sad and feel homesick, they were always there for you. In relation to the club, it is amazing to see all the different events that go on. I was privileged enough to experience a bar mitzvah, which was great fun, and on New Year’s, even though I was working, I still had an amazing time, because I got to see it in with my new friends. We have become so close, these people feel like your second family. I would recommend doing a placement out here because you learn so much about yourself, more than anything. You learn that you can get through anything, and that even if you go to Florida not knowing anybody, you will still make friends quickly and it will turn into the best months of your life.
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.
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!
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.
MikeThe most unexpected result of this experience is how much I have changed. I was unable to go to the Orientation in London, so I was very nervous about meeting the new people I would be spending the next year with. (I advise everyone to attend the Orientation, if possible.) As it turned out, I was with so many amazing people, from all over the world, who are now my friends. I’ve matured, I’ve learnt SO much in and out of the club, and become a better person. I’m more confident, have got a very impressive new addon to my CV, and have met so many people that I will always stay in contact with and most definitely see again. Just generally, I’ve developed as a person. I’d just like to thank you so much for the amazing opportunity you gave me, and I can really see just how much this year has really changed me for the better. It’s been THE best thing I’ve ever done.
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!
Chef Stuart Lewis – 2019I am now Head Chef on board the prestigious motor yacht “Mia Elise”. We charter for $500,000 a week. I cook for the world’s richest at 25 years old. It’s unheard of but I am smashing it. I earn around $17,000 a month depending on gratuity & now own my own Property Management Company in the UK. All of this was made possible because you took a chance on me! I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been able to achieve all of this because of you & Frank, who helped me start my international career and for that I am so grateful – thank you so much. I’m also pushing for the first ever Super Yacht to hold Michelin Star.
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!
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.