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.
Elizabeth Watson, BelfastThe decision to come to America and train in a country club (Broken Sound Club in Boca Raton, Florida) is the best choice I have made in my life. What could be better than knowing every morning you are waking up to sunshine. Its not always easy and it took time getting used to, but the friendships and the experiencing of a new way of life have been fantastic. If I had my way, I would not go back home. I have made friends from all around the world that will last a lifetime and memories that will last just as long. The right choice for me was Broken Sound and it might the right choice for you.
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.
Lewis Rainey, Manchester UniversityThis experience has meant the world to me and has opened up so many doors to help me in the future. I have already decided to come back to Florida, and been offered a job for when I graduate – a lot more than I could have hoped for. The opportunities within the hospitality industry in the USA are fantastic. I definitely recommend coming over, even if you are not sure, because the way of life, the quality of the training, and the experience are great. This has made a huge impact on my life and has pointed me in the right direction to reach my aspirations and goals. If you like hospitality or that’s where your interests lie, I certainly recommend trying this program, because Florida is an amazing place and you need to take the leap and come here for a year – it will change your life. I can’t imagine how awful it would have been if I had interned back in the UK, now that I know how good coming to the USA really is.
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.
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!
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.
Michael Owens, Belfast 2013My experience in Florida is one that I definitely wouldn’t trade for anything. I feel like I have learned more here than I would have if I had stayed at home. Broken Sound Club has a very good work ethic and trains you accordingly, meaning you will probably use these skills in your future career and they will definitely help you in whatever you decide to do. It will test your abilities to handle multiple tasks, sometimes all at once, which can be tough, but it becomes so natural in time that you will probably feel as if you can handle anything once you’ve been through it and gained a little experience. As rewarding as it is, you can find yourself putting in up to 60 hours some weeks, and you may have to handle very fussy members who will try to make your life hard at times, but it is all character building and if you are successful, you can probably work anywhere. It is a wonderful experience in which I have learned a lot from the American culture and a place where I have made friends for life who now feel like a family. I would highly recommend this program to anybody, but only if you’re willing to put in the effort, because although its just training, its VERY HARD. If you are a guy, it will require a lot strength, as learning banquets involves a lot of moving of chairs, tables, buffet stations, etc. However, if you have a chance to spend a year in Florida, definitely do it. Rasheeda does a wonderful job of keeping track of your visa process, making sure everything goes to plan and always checks in on you to see how you are getting along, which is great. I feel that this year will definitely benefit my work ethic and how I present myself to future employers.
Kimberley HammondsI can tell all year-two students that from my own experience, coming to intern in America is the best decision I ever made. The training is simple and straightforward, but can be hard at times. However, the friends and lifestyle here are fantastic. After being here for only four months, I already don’t want to go home. The people you are with night and day become your family and friends. The nightlife is great, and on days off you can explore outside of Boca Raton. So far, my housemates and I have been to the Everglades, shopping malls, a basketball game, college football game, and we even rented a car to drive to Orlando to spend the day at Universal Studios and go on all the rides. I cannot begin to recommend coming to America strongly enough; it is an incredible opportunity that you will benefit from for the rest of your life, no matter what job, role or position you are in. I promise this experience will stand by you forever.
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.