An internship in the USA? Read this first.

Eyeing up an internship in the USA? Jamie has some sound advice and insight into his internship. Starting off a bit bumpy and stressful, he’s now found his feet in his role as an Activities Attendant and is enjoying the American lifestyle! Check out what he’s got to say about his time with Big Cedar Lodge in Missouri so far.

Where are you doing your internship and what is your role?

  • I’m working at Big Cedar Lodge (BCL) in Missouri, USA. I started off in Housekeeping due to arriving in the off-season when I arrived, but now I’m an Activities Attendant.

What does a day in the life of Jamie on internship look like?

  • Everyday is different. At work we do a wide range of activities, from outdoor movie nights to kids fishing competitions or pirate hunts. My favourite is the archery tag and as we get busier we introduce new activities like glow in the dark volleyball. On my days off, I’ll spend my time hiking in the Ozark’s, trying out new American food or going on road trips.

What has been a highlight of internship?

  • My favourite things about internship so far has to be the people I have met. A lot of the people I’ve met are also international workers – I’ve befriended people from all over the world, South Africa, Jamaica, Rome, Peru, you name it! The American are lovely too, there is so much personality here and everyone is super unique and proud to be themselves.

How did the internship managers assist with your placement?

  • My visa application was submitted at the last possible minute so naturally it was very stressful. The ATM internship manager was great at reassuring me and providing backup options incase it didn’t work out which helped with the stress levels.

Tips and advice for students wanting to head overseas for their internship?

  • The best advice I can offer is to start looking early. The internship managers advise that we don’t need to rush into it as a company won’t hold a position for 6-Months while we complete Term 1 & 2, which makes sense. It is however, a good idea to get a sense of what you want to do or think you want to do early on. I left it until about halfway through Term 2 and I still had NO CLUE what I wanted to do, all I knew was that I wanted to head overseas. Luckily BCL came up and they were quick to sort me out and run over potential job offers. So my advice is to start thinking about it early, whether it’s the type of job you want or a location you’re interested in.

How was organising flights and a visa for the USA?

  • It was very stressful due to my last minute planning. I got my contract with BCL midway through Term 2 and by the time I had a job lined up I had to book flights to Auckland two weeks out to do my visa appointment. It actually got so close to the wire that my visa correspondent had to personally drop my paperwork off to my dads house three days before I left NZ!
  • If you want to head overseas PLAN AHEAD, so you have all the time you need to get the paperwork done (there is a lot of it).
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