As mentioned within the previous post; this blog entry is all about the first steps of becoming apart of the internship programme! This might be quite lengthy so bare with me or just skip down to the sections you need to know about. Half of the process is long and can make you want to hold off but the quicker you complete it then the less worrying about getting everything done on time.
So the first time I heard about the BSG internship programme was via email, in the email it invited me to a seminar with a representative from the programme and gave some brief information. At this point I was interested because I’ve always wanted to do a placement abroad but I thought that it would cost me a lot and initially i thought that I wouldn’t be able to afford it because of the visa and flights etc, however I decided to go along anyway because obviously there’s no harm in finding out more and I’m so glad I did.
The seminar was presented by Kerry (one of the BSG representatives), she was really friendly and gave a brief overview of the internship and what to expect/the breakdown of cost; a main concern of mine was the cost of actually moving over to America because straight away an assumption of mine was that the visa would be around £1500/£2000 and it can be seen as unrealistic if as a student you are paying by yourself but the good thing about this internship in particular is the fact that you initially pay £500 for the visa and the club pay the remainder.
The next step to apply was to send your CV over to Kerry via email with a cover letter. It is a massive advantage to have some kind of hospitality experience as that is what the internship is all about and you are constantly interacting with members and providing service, so experience in this sector will give you more confidence etc.
After sending my CV over to Kerry I received an email response a couple weeks later inviting me to a Skype interview with her.
A week later I had my Skype interview with Kerry, it wasn’t really intense, it was more or less letting her get a grasp of your personality and learn your previous experience, what you want to get out of the internship and some other interview questions etc. From this, I received an email from her, passing my information over to Rasheeda (CEO of BSG internships).
A week after my interview with Kerry, I had scheduled my interview with Rasheeda. The interview with Rasheeda was to introduce yourself and once again, letting her know what you want to get out of the internship and what you can attribute and to see which country club you would mesh well with.
From this interview I received an email informing me that I will have an interview with a chosen country club that Rasheeda had paired me up with (Admirals Cove).
I scheduled my interview with Admirals Cove through Rasheeda, it was another Skype interview with Kara, the training and development manager at the club. I was told that I would hear in a weeks time whether or not I was successful, however I received an email the following evening with an offer letter and pre arrival booklet!
*keep in mind that this interview process was just for myself at Admirals Cove and other clubs may be different*
So I’m not gonna ramble on too much with the visa process because it is very long.
You start with an application process for the visa, it is basically information on yourself: basic info, education, work experience, health, documents etc. Most of it you can do in a couple of hours by just filling it in section by section but there are certain things that you need to print out and get signatures and then scan and attach as a document for evidence, an app I would recommend for this is ‘CamScanner’ it’s free and easy to use for your phone rather than using an actual scanner. Once all the sections from the application is filled out you can sign it and send it off so the host organisation (the club) can attach the training plan ready for your visa application. If you have any problems or questions with the application (if a file doesn’t upload etc) there is an email address you can contact and they are able to access your account and help you. Once your application is filled out and training plan is signed and completed you will receive a package in the post with information on the application and documents you will need to keep ready for your visa interview so keep it in a safe place.
After I received my package with my visa application info it was time for me to schedule my interview with the embassy.
It took me longer than it should when I started to make my profile on the embassy website as I was missing my passport so I had to find a picture of it that I had taken so I could input the data and at this point the website had refreshed because I took too long so I would definitely advice anyone applying to make sure you have all the documents so it doesn’t take long. Once my info was inputted I had to pay £160 for the application and once I had done this I was able to choose my date for the interview.
So when I was in London I stayed with my old housemates who live there so I could save some £ on accommodation. I’d recommend arriving early to your interview, I think I arrived 30-40 minutes early but there was a long queue outside so I had to wait in that for a while but once inside it went by pretty fast. After going through security you made your way through to another building and waited for your number to be called on the screen. Once called, I went to the kiosk where someone looked over some of my documents and then I was told to go to the other side of the room and wait for my number again. Once it was called I went to that kiosk and they checked over my documents and passport and asked me a couple of questions about what I’m going to be doing and what I have been doing at uni etc. They basically tell you there and then whether you have been accepted and then told me my passport would be delivered to whatever destination I selected. Within a a week or so my passport had been delivered with my visa inside.
So that is the basics of the interview and visa process. I have tried to shorten this down as much as possible but it isn’t as long as it sounds as long as you keep on top of it and don’t leave it last minute.