By Melissa Chauvet
My name is Melissa Chauvet and I'm super excited to be the new Durban representative for this year’s recruitment campaign!
I was born and bred in Durban, living on the south coast I spend a lot of time on outdoor activities. At a young age, while still in school, I got involved in the hospitality industry as a waitress/bartender. I eventually became involved in bigger opportunities and was selected to work at a 5-star hotel in Dubai as a waitress. I grabbed this opportunity which allowed me to gain more experience and knowledge. Upon my return, I realised that the hospitality industry, and working in another country, was my forté.
I decided to join an events company as a hostess for a famous music artist who visited Durban quite often. When the Fifa World Cup was hosted in 2010, I was approached to participate in this event in the form of hosting visitors to our country, and ensuring that they were offered excellent service.
My brother, Craig joined the Workaway International program for two years. He planned to return to the US for the winter program and told me to join him as it would be a lifetime experience. I didn't hesitate, and my journey in the US was unbelievable!
I must admit that I was nervous in the beginning - working at the Country club is hard work and long hours, but having staff who makes you feel welcome, and who work hard as a team, makes the working conditions enjoyable.
There are always functions being hosted by the country clubs – from Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. We even had a South African evening which introduced the club members to our South African dishes –and they all loved it!
With some time off, I got to see Miami, went to a Redsox Baseball game, and also visited Universal Studios in Orlando. Time flew and before I knew it, it was time to come back home. I made lifelong friends which I am still in contact with today.