Posted July 6th, 2021 By Yummy Jobs
Abbie's Yummy Story in Florida
The best thing about my Program was by far the people that I met. We spent so much time together that we all became one big family. Since I left, I have managed to meet up with a few of them, even in Amsterdam! I now have friends all over the world and I can’t wait to be able to see them all again.
While on the Program I completely changed as a person, living in a new country at the age of only 19, working full time, creating a new social circle of friends and being entirely financially independent taught me so much about myself and made me grow so much. I am so much more confident now; everyone I saw when I came home remarked on how much I had changed for the better. I’d say I am more resilient now; I feel much more equipped to handle anything.
I gained so much confidence and improved my social skills! When I first started the program, I would say I was very nervous and shy. I was thrown in at the deep end and it was such a large resort, I found the thought of having to learn everything very overwhelming. But after a few weeks that subsided, and after that I just became more and more confident. Working in guest services and front desk was the making of me.I loved it so much, we were always encouraged to solve guest issues by ourselves, we were given the power to compensate how we saw fit, making me further independent and allowing me to take control of guest situations. This has followed through to my current job, where possible I try to diffuse the issue without the need for a manager by using the skills I learned during my program.
The most useful thing I learnt by working in the USA was that I can do anything I set my mind to, and I should believe in myself more. I always used to question myself and question if I was doing it correctly, but my managers would encourage me to trust my instincts and they will support me. I also learnt a lot about working with many people from different cultures and countries, it was very interesting to learn from each other and I loved chatting to my guests about the UK.
Through this program I learned that this is what I want to do for my career. I want to work in hospitality, I loved serving people and creating magic for them every day. I have another J1 program lined up soon working in food and beverage, which I am hoping will allow me to have more experience within the other side of hospitality to better serve my guests.
If I could give one piece of advice to someone thinking about a program, I would say...Do it!!!! I cannot stress it enough, do it!! It is by far the best thing I have ever done and it was an invaluable experience that I will never forget.
I loved the living experience! I was worried about sharing a room but I really enjoyed it, me and my roommate became inseparable and still are to this day! All of us got on so well, we became really good friends and would spend our days off together in the Disney parks.
The biggest culture shock was probably just the initial temperature change, Florida summer heat was very drastic compared to the UK but apart from that I settled in great. I felt very much at home the whole way through.
My Top tips…..do as much as you can on your days off, the year goes so fast and before you know it, it has come to an end! You will be tired but it’s so worth it, just go out and do things, experience everything, and it’ll be the best experience of your life!back