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.
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.
Lucy PaletteI’m back in Bournemouth now, after the best year of my life, and I want to thank you for giving me this opportunity. Originally I planned to spend the whole year at BallenIsles in Florida, but my last-minute decision to go to the Stanwich Club in Greenwich, Connecticut turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. The two clubs were so different, and the skills I learnt at each were different too. Naturally, I felt apprehensive about leaving Florida, but I loved living so close to the city when I was up north. I’ve met some amazing people over the year and have made friendships for life. My year in America has benefitted me professionally and personally. I am proud to have two country clubs on my résumé, and as a person I have grown in confidence. I am now focusing on finishing my final year at university and I am hoping to return to America to work as soon as I can if this is possible. Thank you again for this unforgettable opportunity.
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.
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.
Ellis Baron Jones, 2013I 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!
Steph McEvoy 2013When we first met Rasheeda at university, she talked about how much doing an internship would change us as a person and turn the friends we met into our family. I liked the idea, but didn’t fully believe. After a year in America, it is 100% true. I applied for the internship with three other girls from Uni, and at the Orientation Day in London, we met two other girls from a university in Portsmouth. Over the summer leading up to America, we spoke to each other quite a lot and decided to live together when we got to Florida. The six of us have been inseparable ever since. Florida was a bit of a shock at first. We started working straight away and the training was intense, but we made friends from all over the world: South Africa, Ireland, Romania. The training and work, although hard, was always fun. Our accommodation in Florida was amazing. We had a balcony overlooking a lake and a communal pool to use on our days off. There were around 30 of us living in the complex, all working as interns at the club. The club provided transport for us to and from work, and after work we all went on nights out together, hiring limos and party buses, as this was cheaper than taxis. Around busy periods, such as Christmas and holidays, the hours were quite hard and tiring, but everyone being together helped. I won’t say the job was easy, because it wasn’t, but having the right attitude and being motivated definitely helps. We did six months in Florida and were devastated when it came time to move on to New Jersey. It was so sad to leave all our new family and we thought we’d never be able to settle into another club. I know it was difficult to find a club that would keep the six of us together and we’re so so so grateful that BSG managed it. The six of us decided to drive from Florida to New Jersey over five days. It was a 25-hour drive and we stopped in so many different states and got to experience loads of new places and cultures different from Florida. The trip was so much fun. Arriving in New Jersey, we thought we’d had all the training we needed at St. Andrews Country Club and expected the job to be a breeze, but it was completely different. We struggled at first to settle in and get used to the new way that things worked. It was also hard to get used to there being fewer interns to work with, as it was a much smaller club. Although the six of us were together, at first we felt a bit lonely. As Rasheeda had said though, within a few weeks, we were completely settled, with new friends, and enjoying the job. New York was 20 minutes away on a bus, and we made the most of this at every opportunity. When we first got there, we were in the city at least three times a week: on nights out, in the mornings before work, and on our days off. We met our friends from Florida in the city regularly as well, even though they had gone to different clubs up north. We made more friends in New Jersey, in and outside of the club, and ended up with quite a large group of friends again. The members at our club up north were a lot more easygoing than in Florida and very interested in us and our internships. We became quite close to a lot of the members. We didn’t think our experience up north would ever compare to Florida, but we were just as sad to leave and are already considering going back when we graduate. None of this would have been possible without Rasheeda and BSG. Thank you for the best year EVER!
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.
George Tan, 2013Having 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.
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.