Wednesday, 16 August 2017

The tail end of our recruitment

By Claire Smith

The last two weeks in Durban have been so exciting! Representatives from a few of our country clubs came out to South Africa to interview all our candidates for the upcoming season.

I cannot believe how quickly time goes by! It feels as if it was just the other day that we held our very first presentation.

All the long days of presenting and interviewing have definitely paid off. The candidates have dressed to impress and have brought their biggest smiles!

I know it is a long process, especially when waiting patiently for confirmation of acceptance from a country club. Hang in there, stay positive, and treat every interview with positivity. 

To those who have been accepted so far – congratulations! And to all of you who still have interviews coming up, I wish all of you the best of luck. Give it your all!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

You still have a chance

By Chevonne Kieser

The Workaway International team has been hard at work, getting applicant packs ready for final interviews and marketing at different restaurants, country clubs and hospitality schools in search of the best candidates for our programme. 

This week I am back in the beautiful but very cold Cape Town helping out at the head office.  It is always nice to work side by side with the team.  

I am so excited for this coming week, as my country club Boca West will be in Johannesburg on Thursday at the Michelangelo for final interviews. Good luck to all candidates that made it through to the club interviews. I am excited to see you all again.  If you are looking at acing your interviews, go onto our website and you will find some great tips.

We do still have a presentation coming up in Johannesburg this week so I urge all suitable candidates to apply. This is your last chance to grab this opportunity with both hands.

We are still looking for line cooks, servers, golf attendants and golf course maintenance. If you are interested you can find details for upcoming presentations on our website.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Exploring Long Island before getting back to work

By Emma Seagers

The last few weeks I have been working hard and trying to save money. I have had a few fun days exploring Long Island and the city. We have been to the beach a couple of times and I was also able to see the Cirque De Soleil OVA show at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.  It was absolutely incredible and a once in a lifetime experience. The show was unbelievable. I absolutely love that I can experience things that I once only dreamt of doing.

I have been preparing for my return to Florida. I chose to switch clubs and I am now going to be based at the Polo Country Club. I will be a full time bartender, which I am extremely excited about. I am happy that I am already familiar with a few members at my new club as many members belong to both country clubs.

The Workaway International program can open so many doors for you – especially gaining experience from working abroad, meeting new people and making lifelong friends. It is something you might do temporarily, but you can build a solid career out of.

Trust me - there is no better reference than from a five star country club in the US. It is also reassuring when you have a great company like Workaway International supporting you while you are working. You never feel alone. Everything is organized for you which is such an amazing benefit. From your Visa to your flight bookings, airport transfers and medical care - it is all taken care of.

This will be an experience you will reminisce about for the rest of your life and you will definitely not regret it.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Durban has blown me away!

By Claire Smith

My first month of being Durban’s recruiter for the 2017 recruitment season has been amazing. My duties for the week include marketing, presentations and interviews.

When I do marketing, I get to explore and discover hidden gems like the amazing golf courses, Prince’s Grant Golf Estate and Simbhiti Country Club, not to mention the incredible restaurants we have stretching from the South Coast all the way to the North Coast.

It has been great walking into exclusive establishments and seeing familiar faces of those who have been on the Workaway International programme years ago.

I always knew Durban candidates had amazing potential. I get to meet talented individuals who are passionate about the hospitality industry which makes presentations and interviews so enjoyable.

Workaway International has allowed me to experience adventures in the United States and now at home as well. I wish our candidates all the best as they gear up for their country club interviews. Remember to be polite, dress smart and most of all - just be yourself!

Durban is going to make me proud, I just know it 😊.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Do not miss your opportunity

By Chevonne Kieser

Time is going by so fast and I can already feel the excitement levels rising. I have had the chance to meet so many of Johannesburg’s finest candidates over the last few weeks at the interviews held at the Regus. I have also had the chance to pop into a number of culinary and hospitality campuses. Keep your eyes open, I might be visiting your campus or restaurant soon!

It is only a few more weeks before the country club interviews. Good luck to all the applicants. Here are a few pointers for the final interviews: Your first impression lasts so dress appropriately. Males, do not be afraid to wear a suit and tie, please leave your jeans and hoodies at home. Look clean, presentable and wear a nice, subtle fragrance. Arrive at the interview venue at least 30 minutes earlier. Try to do some research on the country clubs interviewing you, and do not forget your smile!

If you are looking for a change in scenery, something out of your comfort zone or the thought of working and exploring the USA while earning US dollars is appealing to you – then it is not too late to apply. We are still looking for candidates with a passion for hospitality, a great attitude and a big smile. We still have a few more presentations coming up, so do not let this opportunity slip by. Take the first step and join me in my upcoming presentation on 1 July at The Capital Moloko Hotel. I would love to meet you and help make your dreams come true.

Workaway International changed my life

By Ruan Lezar

I arrived at the Cape Town International Airport on Sunday, 19 October 2016. My heart was pounding as my Workaway International journey was about to begin. I said goodbye to all my loved ones and then I was on my way to the sunshine state, Florida USA, with thanks to my wonderful new family - Workaway International. I must admit, stepping into the unknown made me a bit anxious. During the months that led up to the departure, Charlotte and her team from Workaway International was with me every step of the way. They emailed me after I landed in America, wanting to know if I was settled and doing well. That meant so much to me.

Within my first week at Vero Beach, I became friends with some of the local people and other people who were also part of the Workaway International program. The managers allowed us to discover ourselves and helped mould us into the best we can be. This allowed me to establish what I am good at. My working experience was the highlight of my trip and if you are doing what you love, you will never feel like you are actually working. Members quickly grew fond of us and whenever they come in for lunch or dinner it felt as if you are seeing an old friend.

My creativity and talents were tested by F&B Manager, Ralph Wagner, as I became the personal High Tea coordinator of the art gallery. I am passionate about art and I was lucky enough to see the work of Christopher Le Brun. Every day, new faces walked into the gallery and hearing them speak about the art and the tea served was so rewarding.

Toward the end of the season, my colleagues started leaving to go back home. I realised that they are no longer just friends, they have become my family. As I am sitting at a restaurant back in South Africa, I am looking at the waitrons around me and I think to myself that Workaway International is the chance that can change your life like it did mine.

I learned so much about myself; my strengths and my weaknesses, who I really am and what I am capable of. In life we just need that one push, that one person to believe in you and will hold your hand, pick you up when you do not feel worthy and stand with you when everything seems to be against you. The answer to that is Workaway International.

The Workaway International experience is something I will take with me for the rest of my life and no one can ever take that away from me.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Summer in the mountains

By Nasiphi Sobahle

If you were to ask me to leave Florida and spend my summer working in the mountains in Pittsburg, Farmington – with the nearest grocery store about 45 minutes away - I would have politely declined. However, today marks a month since I left Florida and I am actually very happy in my new surroundings.

On the 13th of June, we took our very first field trip. We visited Ohio Pyle, a state park in Pennsylvania that boasts various outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, white water rafting and so much more. I enjoyed appreciating the outdoors and experiencing it with friends who have become family. What a time to be alive!

The highlight of being on the Workaway International program is that I get to meet new people from all over the world. It is wonderful to think that so many people are connected through their passion for hospitality.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Exploring the Big Apple!

By Emma Seager

I am a month into my New York adventure and this place is like no other.  I am in Long Island, which is stunning on its own. It is more suburban and reminds me of home. There are beaches not too far away, which I am definitely going to spend a lot of time at.

New York City is where my focus has been for the past 3 weeks, for obvious reasons.  I am lucky enough to have one of my best friends from school living in New York and I was offered a guided tour. There is so much to do and see in the city and I have only seen a few so far. I am in no rush as I have the next 6 months to explore!

Central Park is spectacular. I have probably only seen a small section of it, as it is vast! On my next trip into the city, which is about a 40 min train ride, I want to go on a little row boat on the lake in Central Park as well as watch a free Shakespeare play. There are always free concerts there and I plan on taking advantage of that.

Recently, I had an amazing experience visiting Ground Zero New York Museum and going to the 9/11 Memorial Museum. This is not for the faint-hearted. It is an extremely shocking and depressing museum. At the same time, it is such an incredible tribute to those who were involved in the 9/11 attack. The detail is insane, from pieces of the original towers, to the burnt and damaged fire engines, graphic pictures and videos, even voice recordings from phone calls made by the victims to their family and personal items along with the stories of those they belonged to.  It is a space that pays respect not only to the victims but the hundreds of rescue personnel who sacrificed their lives.

I also visited the American Museum of Natural History which is incredible and one of the best museums in the world. I need to go back because I have not seen everything. There is just way too much to see at one time.

I am so grateful to have this opportunity. Working hard is worth it when one gets to live and explore a city like this. Next up is Brooklyn Bridge and Time Square, but there is plenty of time and I do not want to rush things. I will rather really enjoy every experience to the fullest. 

P.S. You have to try New York doughnuts. If you think Wicked Doughnuts are good, think again. I need to develop some self-control! I still have not tried the famous New York pizza, but there is no way I am having doughnuts and pizza in one day. I will fill you in when the time comes. Overall, work has been amazing, I have met some great people and I know this season is going to be an experience I will treasure forever. I have even come to love the members… well, most of them anyway! The club is beautiful and I love my role as bartender here. I look forward to having a very successful and memorable season!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Workaway International: The first step towards getting somewhere

By Erin Carelse

My name is Erin Carelse and I am a Workaway International Recruiter in Cape Town.  This is a glimpse into how I started my journey of a thousand miles with Workaway International.
My journey started in 2016, when Workaway International, assisted me with a simple application process that turned my dream of going abroad into a reality.

The application process starts with a presentation, where you learn about everything Workaway International has to offer. This is followed by a series of interviews and if successful, you are well on your way to obtaining your American visa, which was one of the things I could happily cross off my bucket list!

This was not my first time going to a different country and the excitement that I felt made me nostalgic and reminded me of the first time I went abroad. I took my seat on the aeroplane, eager to meet new faces and take in all that Florida has to offer.

If you are worried about travelling by yourself, do not stress. Workaway International ensures that you are never alone and your experience from day one is inclusive, fun, educational and promises to help you create lifelong friends that turn into family. Through this program, I have put my professional skills to the test and now consider Florida my home away from home. Growing personally and professionally within a year has resulted in one of the best travel experiences of my life.

Your lifelong dream of travel and exploring is possible and starts with an application to Workaway International. What are you waiting for? If you want an adventure of a lifetime, take your first step towards getting somewhere.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Busy times ahead...

By Chevonne Kieser

It has been a busy week since my first blog post. Some of you might have seen me in the Cape Town offices, interviewing a few candidates. Honestly, it was great having the view of Table Mountain for a change and taking a break from the ice cold weather in Johannesburg.

This past weekend we had our first presentation at The Capital Moloko Hotel in Johannesburg. What an awesome turn out we had! We were only supposed to have two presentations, but the turnout was so big that The Capital Moloko allowed us to have a third presentation to try and accommodate everyone.

All three presentations were filled to capacity. We even had to start a sign-up sheet for the next presentation. Please note that we will be back at The Capital Moloko Hotel on the 10th of June. We will have three presentations on that day as well. 

It was so nice seeing some of the returners at the presentations and catching up with you all.

This week I will be hosting presentations at a few hospitality schools in different cities. Interviews will also start taking place at The Regus in Sandton soon. I look forward to getting to know everyone on a more personal level.

Start spreading the word to all your friends that you think might be interested and have the right skill set for this program. We still have more presentations coming up and would love to see you there!

Friday, 26 May 2017

Create your own journey in the Sunshine State!

By Claire Smith

Hi everyone, I am Claire Smith and I've recently completed my fifth flight from sunny Florida to Durban, South Africa. It is my third time doing it solo and I've become quiet the travelling pro!

My American adventure started in 2012 and with 5 successful seasons at the Mirasol Country Club under my belt, I am now home to tackle the role of Durban's Workaway International Recruiting Representative for the upcoming season! I want all of you to experience everything I have over the last few years and more!

5 years ago I completed my studies and decided that I need a change of pace. I had no hospitality experience but I was determined to go on this programme. I landed a job at a local restaurant and a few months later went to a Workaway International presentation. Shortly after, I attended orientation and was boarding a plane weeks later.

For the next few months, all 1.56m of me was nervous, anxious and scared. Well, 5 years later and Florida feels like my second home!

This program has allowed me to challenge myself, explore my surroundings and meet the most amazing people.

During my time at Mirasol Country Club, I have gone from a Server to Server Captain and most recently taking on a management role in Food and Beverage.

I have had the opportunity to travel to the Bahamas, Cancun, Mexico City, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Key West, Las Vegas, New York City and I recently celebrated my 30th birthday in Puerto Rico.

Through this program, I have made lifelong friends. I would never have thought that my first roommate would later become my best friend and I would later be her Maid of Honour! I was still working at the same Country Club with many people who started this journey with me all those years ago!

If you need a change, an adventure, work experience or looking to earn good cash and travel – then I highly recommend joining this program, it is life changing!

Monday, 22 May 2017

Should I or should I not?

By Carmille Cole
These are the words that kept playing in my mind. Nevertheless, I took on a new challenge and this is where I am today. My name is Carmille, I am 34 years old and this is my story.
In August 2016 I accepted a job to work in Dubai. I was very stable and quite set in my career. However, I was still thinking; “Should I or should I not?". I went on vacation that month, after returning home, I did research and decided to pursue a different career path with Workaway International.  In October 2016, I found myself at Fountains Country Club. It has been such an amazing journey so far!

I boarded the plane and happened to sit next to Workaway participants. Little did I know that one of them will eventually be my roommate.
We arrived in New York and decided to hop on the sub-way. We didn’t even know each other yet, but we had a blast! The autumn weather was perfect – the leaves were perfect shades of yellow and orange. I still couldn’t believe that I was in New York City!

My first day definitely set the tone for the rest of my stay. Since then, I have enjoyed working and spending time exploring with the rest of the group. I worked a Halloween Party for the first time - with face painting and all. The events are on another level here, it is always very interesting and exciting and I always look forward to the next one.  Guests were fascinated and intrigued by our beautiful South African accents. While the work was hard, I definitely had much more fun.  
This experience has given me the opportunity to travel. Places like Miami and Cuba have always been on my bucket list and I am happy to say that it has been ticked off. Cuba was mind-blowing. The warm welcoming locals, their culture and cuisine is amongst the best I have ever come across in my time traveling. It didn’t hurt that Cuba is also the birthplace of Mojitos and Cigars.

I am happy to say the end of my time in the USA brought along something better - I have landed the position of head recruiter for the Workaway International office in Cape Town. With this, another adventure awaits. I get to meet new people from all walks of life and this is one of the biggest reasons why I enjoy hospitality so much.
With that said, I am looking forward to meeting you and sending eager, passionate people to the USA. Remember that you should be willing to go the extra mile and work hard while having fun! This opportunity is not just mind blowing but an experience of a lifetime.

Monday, 15 May 2017

And then there was America

By Chevonne Kieser

My name is Chevonne Kieser, 28 years old and from Boksburg. I am thrilled to officially introduce myself as the Head Recruiter in Johannesburg for Workaway International for the 2017/2018 winter program.

I recently returned from America and I can honestly say that it has been a life changing experience.

When I left high school, I decided to study Tourism as I always had a passion for travelling. Part of my studies required me to do a six months practical outside of South Africa.  That was the first time I got a taste of the American lifestyle. Although my first working experience in America was not through Workaway International, it was Workaway International that kept me going back for five seasons. 

Having international working experience in hospitality was enough for me to be accepted onto the Workaway International program. I was hired as a hostess at Boca West Country Club, where I worked my way up to Hostess Captain.

This program pushes you to be better. You meet people from all around the world, and they end up becoming family by the end of the season. 

This program is not all fun and games. Yes, work sometimes does not feel like work because of the familiar atmosphere that you are in; but this program does push you to limits you never thought you could reach. It opens up your eyes to things you would not normally see and changes your prospective. You can only grow while being on this program.

I am so excited for the upcoming season and to see what the Johannesburg candidates have to offer. I really look forward to meeting everyone and hope to see you at the upcoming presentations.