Thursday, 30 May 2019

WHAT WE LOOK FOR IN A WORKAWAY INTERNATIONAL CANDIDATE

There is no rule book to what a successful candidate looks like, however we have a few tips that you can keep in mind to help improve your chances.

Remember, each year we are inundated with applications for a limited amount of positions and only the best of the best gets chosen. If your application is not successful, do not be discouraged. Use the opportunity to learn, grow and improve. You are always welcome to reapply for the next season.

1       RELEVANT WORK EXPERIENCE
This is one of the most important aspects we look for when choosing which candidates to put forward for the job. We have listed the minimum requirements on our website however candidates are often under the impression that this is ALL we require for them to be successful. It is, however, a huge advantage for candidates to have relevant experience applicable to the job they are applying for.

With that said, we do not want to discourage candidates who do not have experience not to apply, as we do believe that everyone deserves a chance. However, to be successful without experience means your personality must be the star of the show.

Remember, the chances of someone without experience getting the job is the exception rather than the rule.


S    SOMEONE WHO LOOKS THE PART
Dress to impress! Often, the first judgement we have of you, is based on what you are wearing and how you look. Therefore, it is so important to dress professionally throughout the recruitment process. We always say that is better to overdress than underdress. Working in the hospitality industry requires you to look neat, professional and put together, so it is only fitting that you dress the part.


     PROFESSIONALISM
Be punctual, greet and introduce yourself confidently while making eye contact. All of this contributes favourably to your application.

Listen and ask questions if you do not understand something and never underestimate the power of a smile. A smile shows confidence and invites us to get to know you.


4       WE CAN TELL WHEN YOU HAVE DONE YOUR RESEARCH!
Working in another country and being away from home is a big commitment therefore it is important to know what you are getting yourself into. Our website is filled with everything you need to know about the programme and familiarising yourself with the information before attending the presentation really helps give a holistic view about the programme which ultimately helps you in making the right decision. It also helps you formulate well informed and relevant questions for when you meet us.


5       PERSONALITY
Do not be afraid to show your personality! This is your opportunity to show us what you have got to offer and why you deserve to be on the Workaway International programme. We know the recruitment process can be intimidating however, it is important to keep your eye on the prize, so bring your A-game!


Good luck and we look forward to meeting you at the presentation!

My first season in Florida

By Kimber-Lee Basson

Working abroad for the first time was a unique and wonderful experience. Being on the Workaway International programme enabled me to gain insights into a new country and exposed me to different cultures. I also met so many different people and got a fresh perspective on the world. This was truly an amazing opportunity that not many people will get to experience, and I am immensely grateful to Workaway International and the Polo Club!


My top highlights in Florida was definitely watching Trevor Noah live, a day trip visiting the Wynwood District and the beaches in Miami, the South Florida fair and then of course having the time of my life at Universal Studios in Orlando.





Being away from family and friends was challenging but as you start making new friends, you realise that you have the mental ability to overcome this.

If you are young, an extrovert and a hard worker, then seasonal work in the hospitality industry is for you! Not only do you get to add international experience to your resume, but you get to save money, as well as learn and grow.


Season one - you were great. I look forward to what lies ahead.

Monday, 20 May 2019

When one door closes, another one opens…

By Sonia Marques

The end of the winter season is here. At this time, you will be saying many goodbyes to friends that you have made while living here in the USA.

Although the season was temporary, some of the friendships you have made are not, these people have become lifelong friends!


However, with goodbyes - come hellos; to family and friends back home or if you are planning on going up north for the summer season, hellos to new work colleagues and friends. That is the beauty of being on the Workaway International program. Although bittersweet, every day brings new adventures and something new to look forward to.


It is important to think of this new adventure as a new beginning. If you are going home perhaps you would like to venture on to a new opportunity, now that you have some international experience. If you are going up north for the summer season, maybe you would like to improve on something or add onto the experience earned during the winter season. Always remember that there is room for improvement in every aspect of your life, with this mindset - you will go far!


Hard work during the season does not go unnoticed, and if your country club is like Addison Reserve, they may even throw you a Staff Appreciation Party. We were lucky enough to have been invited to this event, which was held at The Falls Country Club, where all the employees are recognized for their dedication and work ethic. We were treated to dinner, prizes and raffles, followed by dancing to end the night off along with the season with our colleagues and friends.



Thank you, Addison Reserve, for yet another memorable season!


“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy on, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” - Socrates

With Love,

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Workaway International Presentations: What to expect and how you can prepare!

Why is attendance at presentations compulsory?

The presentations are the first step in the recruitment process. We want all candidates to be well informed before committing to working abroad, and for this reason every candidate is required to attend a presentation if they wish to apply.


There is so much important information about the programme given at the presentations, which you have no other way of receiving. Making presentations compulsory ensures that all applicants have a clear understanding of what they can expect.
The presentation will answer all your questions about the programme, from the requirements, to details about the recruitment process, from the duration of your contract to the costs involved, positions, wages and so much more.
Beside gathering important information about the programme, the presentations also gives us an opportunity to meet potential candidates and get to know them a bit better. 

Do I need an invitation to attend a presentation?
No, presentations are open to all candidates who are interested in applying for the Workaway International programme. We work on a first-come, first-served basis, with each presentation having a limited number of spots. We strongly recommend that serious candidates arrive early to secure their seat.

What do I need to bring along to a presentation?
All we require you to bring to the presentation is a positive, ‘can do’ attitude. Other than that, there is no need to bring any formal documentation as we will supply the form you need to complete.

What happens after the presentation?
After the presentation, you will be given a form to complete which requires you to fill in your name, contact details, work experience and the Workaway International position you would like to apply for. Our recruitment consultant will collect and check all the forms before calling candidates in for an individual pre-screening.

In the pre-screening we will then discuss the details on your form. This is the first time we get to hear what you have to say, see your personality and decide whether you would be a good fit for the programme.

How should I prepare for the presentation?
While there is no set of rules for how potential candidates should prepare for a presentation, we do require that you make an effort to look professional, do your research beforehand, come with relevant questions, have a good attitude and show us why you deserve to be on the programme.

How do I prepare for my pre-screening?
Be confident, think about how your current or previous work experience can be used to your advantage, know your strengths, show us your personality and remember to have fun! A
pre-screening is ultimately your chance to wow us and show us what you have to offer. Remember, there are thousands of candidates who apply each year and we have strict criteria that we need to consider when choosing candidates.

What does Workaway International look for in a candidate?
Besides having relevant industry experience, we need candidates with amazing personalities who are fluent in English, are customer-service oriented and hard working. We are looking for candidates who are willing to go above and beyond to get the job done, someone who is not afraid to put in the work and the long hours to make sure members of the country clubs and employers are satisfied.

It is worth repeating that we are inundated with applications for a limited number of positions each season – only those who fit and exceed the criteria set by the country clubs will be selected for the available positions. It is vital that you put your very best foot forward, and attending a presentation looking eager and professional as required, is the first step.

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Onto the Next Chapter

By Tara Clampett

The end of season is upon us. Many members are leaving their Florida country clubs for their homes up North for the summer and many of us will follow suit soon enough! This is probably the most difficult time for many of us as goodbyes are never easy.

Looking back on the season and reflecting on all the new relationships, I am filled with gratitude. Leaving home for 8 months is not easy, we all have ups and downs, good days and bad and I am so grateful to all my friends who have been there through it all. I get a lump in my throat just thinking about leaving them.


On a lighter note, as the season comes to an end, we are making the most of the time we have left. Recently we took a girl’s trip to Miami for the weekend where we explored Wynwood Walls, Little Havana and South Beach. As we were lying on South Beach, I told my family back home that I still have to pinch myself to realize that this is real life! Another great experience recently was the Broadway show, Anastasia, at the Broward Center. The performers, music and set design were all incredible!


The end of a season also means a time to reflect on yourself, your growth and your goals over the past 8 months as well as time to set new goals for the summer. Personally, my top two goals for the summer season is to save as much money as possible and to plan a trip for my mom to come visit me in New York. I feel that I am so blessed to have traveled so far at a young age and would love to share the feeling and experience of New York City with my mother.


So, here is to being thankful and grateful for the memories and experiences from the past and being ready for the challenges and adventures that lie ahead!

Thursday, 18 April 2019

The Unforgettable Experience

By Tanita Dos Anjos
My journey at Boca West Country Club has come to an end because I am a Swiss Hotel School student and I needed to be back in Johannesburg to attend lectures again this week. 
Never did I think that leaving Florida would be as hard as leaving Johannesburg, but sadly it was. I made friends with people I now consider family. We spent Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and even birthdays together and in the short few months that I’ve known them they managed to creep into my heart and become my Florida family! I will forever cherish the memories I made in Florida with these incredible people. 
This experience was the most terrifying yet amazing experience of my life! Looking back at the person I was when I left Johannesburg to the person I am today, the change honestly amazes me! I feel like I’ve gained immense skills in the hospitality industry and grown so much as a person. 
I would 100% recommend this to someone who is looking to step out of their comfort zone, someone looking for a change of scenery or even someone seeking a bit of adventure! 
I am so grateful I got the opportunity to go on this unforgettable experience, I will take the lessons I’ve learnt with me throughout life. I can’t wait to see what the future holds. 

Peace out Florida!

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Celebrating 20 years of helping South Africans gain international work experience

Workaway International has been successfully placing South African participants in US country clubs on seasonal contracts for 20 years, giving them the working experience of a lifetime, improving their career opportunities and broadening horizons through international travel. General Manager, Charlotte Quenet-Meintjes tells us more…


In 1999, we successfully recruited 60 participants to work at the Boca West Country Club for four months. Members of the country club fell in love with our participants due to their work ethic, discipline, manners, friendliness and overall drive and dedication.


We subsequently introduced a summer programme, allowing participants who had done the winter season with country clubs in the south to extend their contracts and work up north (New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina and more). This allows participants to gain work experience at more than one country club during their time abroad, gives them the opportunity to meet more people and further expand their skillset.  

When Workaway International started, we only sent participants to the Boca West Country Club and today, we send them to more than 25 country clubs for the winter programme and 18 country clubs for the summer programme.

We also began recruiting candidates from other countries such as Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Romania. Workaway International sends approximately 1 300 participants to the USA each year, with participants coming from all over the world. In 2018, we sent 670 participants to work at 25 different country clubs in Florida, USA.

It is amazing to witness the candidates’ growth during the recruitment process. Candidates are nervous and hesitant when they attend the presentations, and through the recruitment process we see them gain confidence, experience and so much knowledge. They return from the USA, strong and independent, with such valuable work experience and skills, and all the worldly experiences that come from working in the USA. In addition, they have met people from all over the world and built up a valuable network of industry contacts and lifelong friends.


It is incredibly rewarding to be part of this process, which ultimately changes participants lives for the better. The Workaway International programme is such a great opportunity and stepping stone for those who want to expand and further their careers. Many who have completed the programme have gone on to become restaurant managers, general managers of hotels, executive chefs, restaurant owners, etc.


Reaching 20 years in any business is a milestone but also a testament to the fact that we love what we do. We love making dreams come true and giving South Africans the opportunity to expand their careers abroad. When we started the Workaway International programme we did not know if we would make it past the first or second season and, yet, here we are two decades later!

It would not be possible without all the amazing candidates who apply each year. Being around for 20 years has allowed us to touch and change many lives and for this I am extremely grateful. Looking ahead, I am very excited to meet new, deserving candidates and making even more dreams a reality!


Sunday, 7 April 2019

Experiences and the upcoming endeavours

By Nzuzo Mkhungo

Hello, everybody! It is Nzuzo once again, it has been a while! The last two months have been so busy and in my previous blog, I did not get a chance to give you a glimpse of the Admiral’s Cove country club. What a magnificent place! Here are a few pictures…



Being in Florida and not visiting the beach is unheard of, so I paid my dues and visited Singer Island Beach. It was a lovely day and it resulted in many more visits thereafter. I also took the time to visit Walmart and the Gardens Mall which is a beauty on its own!


Being on the Workaway International programme taught me so much about myself. I have become more mature and it really encouraged me to think about my career and future in a more serious light. Time also flew by so quickly on the programme – it was Christmas and before I knew it, it was the end January and we were finalising our application for up north.

My next stop is North Dakota - another stamp on my passport and a foot in the right direction career wise. It has been a wonderful season. It is going to be a bitter sweet time for all of us as we all go our separate ways, but we are so happy for each other as we are moving in a positive direction.


Monday, 18 March 2019

The Final Countdown

By Tara Clampett

As we near the end of the season, time always seems to speed up…I feel this happening every season! And while I am very excited to go up north, I also always want more time…more time with my friends and colleagues who may have started out as just acquaintances at the beginning of the season. However, I know that this is partly because I have found my comfort zone here and the anticipation of new housemates, roommates, colleagues, surroundings is always a little daunting at first. But we all know that change is good and it’s the only way we grow so bring on summer 2019 in New York!


I will be spending this upcoming summer at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury, which is about a 40 minute train ride from New York City and being a city girl at heart, I cannot wait to visit NYC again! I will never forget my first time visiting the city in 2017…As cliché as it sounds, New York stole my heart. The energy in the city is truly amazing.


One of the many advantages of choosing to go up north after your Florida season is the opportunity for travel. In comparison to the winter season where almost all clubs are located in Florida state, up north there are Clubs located across the United States…I have friends going to clubs from New Mexico on the West coast to Block Island all the way over on the furthest part of the East coast. As many clubs up North are often smaller than Florida clubs you may find that it is easier to request time off to travel as well. My advice, and this is speaking from experience, is to spend your hard earned dollars on travelling as much as you can and not on online shopping as much as you can! Memories will last forever, while the clothes and other random unnecessary items you bought online will most likely end up in the trash at the end of the season when you have no space in your suitcases…


So to those going up North, work hard and travel hard…these are the years and memories we will cherish forever!


Sunday, 17 February 2019

Half way there!


By Sonia Marques

Three and a half months down, three and a half months to go… where has time gone? By this time, you would have decided whether you want to go up north for the summer season or whether you want to go back home. Either way, your country club and Workaway are very involved and helpful in the process so there is nothing to worry about!


As the winter season starts to slow down, if you have not had the chance to travel, now would be the perfect opportunity to request time off. Recently I was lucky enough to travel out the country to Cancun, Mexico and what an experience that was! A one and a half hour flight and I landed in a different country, with a whole new way of living and a new culture to absorb. 


I stayed at Oleo Cancun Playa Boutique Resort, which is an all-inclusive beach resort at the heart of Mexico. With the crystal blue Caribbean Sea at my doorstep, I spent my days on the beach or by the poolside soaking up the Mexican Sun. Next time I am in Mexico I definitely want to visit one of the 7 wonders of the world: Chichen Itza, which is an ancient Mayan Civilisation. A couple of my friends went to the Bahamas, which is definitely on my to-do list while in the USA, this can be done by plane or on a cruise.




However, just because the season is slowing down does not mean that we, as employees, slow down. It is important to carry on working hard and to your best potential, especially if you want to be rehired by your country club. Therefore, work hard, play hard and make the most of your time left here in the USA.



All the best for the second half of your adventure!

“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later.”
-          Og Mandino.

With Love,


Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Preparing for the Next Chapter


By Tara Clampett

Wow…I cannot believe we are halfway through the season!


For many of us, this is a confusing time…time to decide whether to go up North for the summer season or to go back home. Many first time participants prefer to go home after their first season in the USA and this is exactly what I did back in 2016. I still remember a South African colleague telling me “Once you get home you’re going to wish that you were still in the USA”…And that is exactly what happened! I believe a lot of the time you return home only to realize how much you have grown over the past 6 months of living and working abroad. Additionally, travel opens up your eyes and you realize that there is so much more out there to see and experience.


This season I plan to go up North again for the summer. As much as I do miss my family and friends back home, I know that in twenty years’ time I will regret it if I don’t take the opportunity and try. The key word here being “try”. As many of you may know positions up North are limited and thus this can be a stressful time as we go through the interview process again. After being the Cape Town recruiter just a few months ago, I have recently been on the opposite side of the interview table again (being the interviewee) and boy, did I get nervous! However a few key points I have learnt through the recent interview process are:

Most important…be YOURSELF!

We all know that first impressions count so remember to smile and give a firm handshake. I am certain that every Country Club is looking for friendly, professional, polite and confident staff and these small gestures will show the interviewers that you possess these qualities.

Prepare beforehand. This means do your research on the Country Club as well as the position you’re applying for. As most summer Country Clubs hire servers, before my interviews I brushed up on my serving knowledge as you never know what questions may be thrown at you.

Have questions ready. Although all interviewers have different styles of interviewing this was the one common question asked in all of my interviews – “Do you have any questions?”. A friend of mine gave good advice and suggested that you think of a few standard questions that you can always ask such as: Are there opportunities for overtime? What are the daily duties of someone in the position you are applying for?

Lastly, try to relax and enjoy the interview. Although when I started my interviews, I was nervous, once I started to relax, I actually enjoyed the interviews (and I never thought I would ever say that). At the end of the day the interviewers are there to get to know you and there is no better feeling than leaving an interview that was more of a conversation and laughs than a series of questions and answers.



Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Festivities, festivities and more festivities

By Nzuzo Mkhungo

Hey everybody, once again it is me all the way from Florida.


It has been the busiest December of my life! I cannot describe how busy the club is! We had our staff annual Christmas party earlier on in the month and it was amazing. It took place at Frenchman’s Creek Country Club. The employee of the year was announced and a lot of prizes were handed out to the staff. Everyone was dressed to kill and much fun was had by everyone.  



In the short time that I have been here I have made so many friends. Christmas was emotional but having them made me feel a sense of my family being present.
I have also done a lot of shopping including visiting SHOPAHOLIC capital of Palm Beach Gardens: The Gardens Mall.