Monday, 1 June 2015

To Boca and back!

By Dayne Swanepoel

I’m pretty sure most people don’t know who I am, so I thought it’s best for me to start from the beginning…

My name is Dayne Swanepoel, 27 years young and all the way from that little town Johannesburg, born and bred. I am extremely proud to introduce myself to you as the JHB representative for Workaway International for the 2015/2016 recruitment program.

I recently arrived back from my amazing adventure in America a little over a month ago, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that it has been the single greatest decision of my life.
Before I found myself crossing the big lake, I was bored.  I had a really well-paying job in Human Resources with my family’s business - my life was set, but that was too easy.  I was in need of a challenge, travel and adventure.

I had a bit of waitering experience whilst growing up and managed a bar in my varsity days. This was enough for me to be accepted onto the Workaway International program, working as part of the Banqueting team as a Bartender/Server at Boca West.

I found the work really challenging, but rewarding at the same time. Some days I thought it was impossible, but we pulled off the biggest parties - even a surprise performance from Shaggy!  Valentine’s Day was the banquet that stood out for me the most, simply because we were desensitised to the enormity of each party as the season went on, but even that day I was amazed at what we had pulled off.

Besides work, I made some of the greatest friends I could have ever have imagined. Some of the guys I worked with and the people I stayed with, as cliché as it may sound, became my American family. I really wish we weren’t all spread out back home - some of us live in Cape Town, Durban and even as far as Ireland and Romania.

It isn’t all just work, there was also ample time to explore and travel. My trips to Key West and Universal Studios Orlando are the two that stand out the most, and are definitely places I recommend everyone should visit. They really illustrate why America is an amazing place, and everything is truly bigger and better!

It’s great to be home, and with the recruitment process for next season’s hopefuls in full swing, I’m already excited for the upcoming season and what JHB candidates have to offer! We had our first presentation on 23 May and I was impressed with the all the amazing candidates who joined us. I really hope to see more of you at the next two presentations!

I really look forward to meeting all of you along the way and I hope I can help your dream come true the same way that Workaway did for me. You will never look back from that, I promise.

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