Donna's Work America Journey: Part 2

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Donna headed to the US of A on our Work America programme in 2015! She got in contact with us to update us with how her adventure went... and it went pretty well!

My journey so far…

Since beginning my Journalism degree I have always strived to do whatever I can to strengthen my personal and professional skills for both current and future endeavours, so having been granted a J-1 Visa enabling me to work overseas for the summer I knew that this would unquestionably be a highly beneficial opportunity and certainly not one to pass up.

After months of preparation and having to juggle a mass of assignments, exams and other commitments, on Thursday 28th May, opting for a direct flight from Manchester Airport to JFK, I flew across the pond to Brooklyn to begin my BUNAC Work America programme and passing through airport security, without hitch, “phew!”, I was on route to beginning the adventure of a lifetime.

Once I had reached the gate and the green light for boarding was given, I couldn't believe how small, yet spacious the aircraft was so as soon as I located my designated seat I was delighted to find that there was significantly more leg room than expected. The service American Airlines provided was first class; food; snacks; TV channels; and of course ice old beers and whisky beverages, certainly made the long haul journey considerably more enjoyable before descending in to the BIG APPLE early that afternoon Eastern Time.

In having secured a full-time role at BNAIP in Brooklyn, I made my way to the Long Island University Campus navigating my way with suitcase in tow to where I would be living and working throughout the duration of the programme. To save excessive taxi fees I chose to take public transport instead, however, even though I had planned my trip in advance, I still happened to make the mistake of getting on, off and then back on the AirTrain instead of switching to the A train once it had arrived at Howard Beach station, meaning that I had to stay on until it completed its full circle of deja-vu as it stopped at each of the airport terminals once again.

Upon arrival, I was greeted by a friendly group of LIU security officers who helped point me in the right direction so I could meet those I would be working alongside throughout the summer, before being informed that I would be staying in a room just six floors up from BNAIP’s office, meaning that there would be no need to commute to work on a day to day basis. Hell yeah!

On the 1st June I began my role as Receptionist and feeling enthusiastic about the prospect of joining the team and living and working somewhere new, I just could not wait to get started. Initially, it was quite a challenging non-stop few days. Firstly, due to NYC summer dorms having only just opened its doors for its summer season and secondly due to the gruelling long hour shifts and teething problems with the new software system that had been introduced to verify room reservations, check-in’s and check-out’s.

Although the UK is known for its unpredictability weather wise, here in NYC, things haven't been that much different. Since arriving, we have had everything from dazzling sunshine and super high temperatures, through to rain, thunderstorms and the need to wrap up warm during those chilly spells.

Since arriving, due to working super long hour shifts, I have still yet to venture beyond the Brooklyn perimeter. So far I have managed to fit in some site seeing such as the city's impressive Brooklyn Bridge and idyllic Brooklyn Heights Promenade and as I am here until mid- September, there is more than enough time to see all that this great place has to offer.

In addition, all staff have since been informed that the hourly rate is increasing an additional $1 an hour, so at this present time it can only be described as smiles all- round!

Inspired by the beginning of Donna's journey? We don't blame you! Give us a call on 03339997516 or email us now and one of the team will be able to help you begin your very own American adventure!

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