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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Nicole Bateman, 2012The best part of this experience was being independent in such a great country. I’ve always had a passion for travelling and meeting new people is my way of life. I will never forget all the fantastic friends I made both at the club and in my social life. Being able to get to know club members and club managers who take an actual interest in your life and future is a great opportunity to discover links to different industries. Never having been in a full time situation for a whole year, this is helped me build skills that I will need in my career. I know I can be a strong leader and I am very self motivated. This experience enhanced my confidence and ability to push myself to achieve my goals.
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.
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)
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.