SO, I’ve been in Florida for just over a month now and it has gone by so fast! From the airport to training, to the first day, it has been crazy, but good crazy! For anyone considering applying for the internship; hopefully this blog will help you understand a bit more about the process of moving to the other side of the world and what to expect.
After the initial interview process and receiving an offer letter for Admirals Cove (the country club I now work for) it became a lot more real when applying for the visa and booking flights, which I will go through in depth within the next post but for now I feel like I will give you the low down on my first month in the US.
First thing I would say is definitely do not leave packing until last minute like I did, I literally had my flight booked from London Heathrow on Wednesday 29th May and I started packing on the 27th (starting being the key word here). Me, my brother and parents were travelling down to London the night before and I was still packing 30 mins before leaving the house and I can confirm that I forgot things and didn’t think it through at all!
So anyway, with packing out the way and after arriving in London the night before, it finally got to Wednesday morning and I was off to the airport. We parked up and everyone walked me to check in (which was empty so I was absolutely buzzing that I didn’t have to queue for hours), we then went up towards the security bit, where I had to say my goodbyes – I really didn’t want to get emotional so I had a quick group hug and tried to run away but I still ended up walking through security sobbing hahaha. As airports go – one of the easiest check ins I’ve had, and for once I actually took all the liquids out of my bag so i was straight through.
The flight was great, received loads of free food and drinks and watched a couple of films; for me, I have travelled on my own before but never a long haul flight and for my first time it couldn’t of gone better, for some reason I didn’t feel nervous at all, the excitement started to take over, I just thought “I’m on the flight now so there’s no need to be nervous, I’m on my way”.
Arriving in Florida
After the connecting flight from JFK and another in flight movie; I was in florida! A guy from the club transport service met me at the entrance with my name on a piece of paper and I thought “oMg jUst liKe tHe MoVieS”. It was warm and sunny and palm trees everywhere, this was literally the peak of my excitement; the drive from the airport to the apartment! At this point all my previous worries and anxiety about moving had disappeared, as I predicted because majority of the time the thought of doing something is a lot more scarier than actually doing it.
The past few weeks
So when moving into the apartment there was already a girl there that had arrived earlier in the day; I basically had a look around and dumped my stuff and even though I had travelled for 14 hours and been awake for almost 24, I just wanted to have a look around so we got talking and had a walk to Publix (grocery store that I can guarantee you will know every single person who works there because of how often you go haaaa). So we hung out for a couple of days as training didn’t start till Monday and after a couple of days we had another girl join us. You do share a room with someone, these two girls who joined the same time as me ended up sharing a room and my roommate doesn’t arrive till September. Now, originally I didn’t like to idea of sharing a room because of my freedom at uni and how I’ve never had to share a room but it’s all part of the experience and a lot cheaper than trying to find a place to live close by to work, plus you are all in the same position – it really isn’t a big deal when you think of it.
Training began on Monday and all the J1 interns met. It was a short day as we just went through some paperwork and policies and signed some stuff and met some staff members which was nice. The real training began the day after and occurred for around 8 days (you had the weekend off though). With the training it was very interactive and extremely helpful as long as you pay attention and most importantly – you want to learn. We had some reading to do at home which we would read in the evening ready for the next day, not too much, just a PowerPoint or two, but they are really helpful and give you an advantage for the next training sessions.
It isn’t just reading through things and memorising, there’s a lot of games and communicating with each other and some role play which is beneficial because of the nature of the work CUSTOMER SERVICE. And I can guarantee this customer service is nothing like back at home.
I personally have found the training really useful and when it comes to working in one of the restaurants, it really helps if you know about the club and the service and the products.
It isn’t just working within the restaurants as well; so far we have worked a couple of events which have taken place at the club such as: a wedding, Father’s Day brunch and a memorial. This week we also have 4th July event which will be fun! Working in the banquets department is so different to working in the restaurants and it so nice to be apart of it and see how each event is different.
All in all, the first month has been good. To start with the training it was a bit scary because you don’t know anyone and you don’t have your best mate with you, it’s like starting fresh again but you have to remember that everyone is the same and you will make good friends with people, good things don’t happen over night which is very important to remember in regards to friendship and your learning of the new work environment.
I’m still settling in but I feel like I’m almost there – everyone is different but for me, I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in work and how the service is and I’m adjusting to the weather (which is LUSH) and I have some girls that I really get along with; we literally go to each other’s apartment every day to catch up on Love Island and go by the pool or go to the beach. I’m so excited for the rest of my time here and my advice to anyone who is a new intern or considering applying – have an open mind, work hard, have fun and everything doesn’t happen over night; you got to give it chance and believe in yourself! …wow I feel very inspirational right now.
But seriously, before coming out here I was so exciting within the months leading up to finishing uni but when I did finish uni and I moved back home… wow, the anxiety took over and I was so worried. I was scared about being away from home and scared of leaving my friends, it was overthinking central but that’s all it is, overthinking and as I said before, once I left my fam at the airport and got on the plane, it all disappeared and when I arrived in Florida i had forgotten why I even felt worried in the first place!
So I hope this helps and gives an insight to the journey here! I will be uploading another blog post within the next couple of weeks on the whole interview and visa process too because I know that’s something I definitely could have used some sort of guidance with.
Keep updated with my year as an intern @ Admirals Cove, FL 😜