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.