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.