Chef Stuart Lewis – 2019
I 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.
Carys Browning – Sheffield Hallam University – 2019
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!
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.
David Mazzucchi 2013
BSG 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.
Jaleesa Wilson, 2014
Florida is such an amazing state and I had such an incredible time; I just miss it so much. Rasheeda, I know you thought this ‘London Girl’ was going to struggle in Florida, but honestly I think of it as my second home. I keep thinking about Florida every day! I am forever grateful for this opportunity and all the doors this will open in the future
Ellis Baron Jones, 2013
I have had the most incredible experience here in America and I want to thank BSG greatly for making this journey possible! It is hard to find the words to both express how incredible this year has been and how thankful I am to you. To say this year has changed my life would not be an exaggeration in the slightest! I am sure this is not the end of my American adventure, I already have plans to spend Thanksgiving in New York, so we shall see what the future holds!
Michael Smyth, Belfast
I 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.
Sophie Buckley, Manchester
I 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.
Jack Bowen, 2012 – Bucks University
I 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.
George Tan, 2013
Having an internship in the US has made a big impact on my life. I like to travel and explore a lot. One of my American friends told me this, “YOU NEVER KNOW, UNTIL YOU GO.” Life is a short journey, live your life without any regrets. No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
The students that I’m with are friendly, and although all of us are from different backgrounds and cultures, we are just like a big family from different places, living in the same place taking care of each other.
Lewis Rainey, Manchester University
This 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Mihaela Gavrila 2014I just want to share a little something with you: yesterday a member at the club where I am in Deal, New Jersey, asked me: “Did you fall in love in Miami?” And I said, “Yes! With the city, the perfect weather, the turquoise ocean, the palm trees, the beautiful life, with the place where you can never be upset or angry. I fell in love with everyone I met there, all the people I knew and the ones that I just saw on the street, at the supermarket, on the beach or anywhere I went.” This is just one of the parts of going in an international internship. I am so grateful for all the opportunities that I had and the ones that I will have in the future. I don’t think I’m lucky, but for sure I am blessed. I’m in love with my life! Once I learned how to have a positive attitude towards everything I encounter, I started to have a happy and healthy life. I strongly believe that I made the right choice in life when I chose to be a Hospitality Student. The immensity of this industry is overwhelming and maybe I don’t know what I’m going to be five years from now, but I’m pretty sure that I will find something that will make me happy, because this is one of the most important things in life. Now I just want to live my American Dream, be happy with the club, my friends and with who I am right now, because this time will never come back. Mihaela Gavrila 2014 American Hotel Academy student (Romania)
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!
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!
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.
Lisa Calderwood, BelfastFor anyone thinking of coming to America, I cannot recommend it enough. The lifestyle is great, the training isn’t easy and you will have fun on your days off! It has been wonderful to experience a new culture and meet people from all around the world. I can honestly say that I have met lifelong friends and it is marvelous to spend the time training, living and socializing with them. At the start, I was worried about missing home and my family and friends, but once you get here and settle in you realize that everyone is one big family inside and out of the club. It is an amazing opportunity to come here to live and learn in a new environment and I would not change one minute of it. This has been an amazing experience for me so far, from travelling alone for the first time across the world, to experiencing a fantastic and beautiful environment like Broken Sound Club. I have learnt so much, both about the work and about myself and have seen it as an incredible journey. The training can be demanding, but the staff is always there for you if needed. If you are worried about what the job entails don’t be, as you will pick it up very quickly. So far I have made loads of new friends from various countries, including England and Holland, which has really helped me appreciate that there is much more out there for me to understand and explore than my own wee country. Although there is a lot of effort involved in country clubs, I highly recommend it as it is a once in a life time opportunity.
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.