Donna's Work America Journey: Part 1
Donna, a BA (Hons) Journalism student at the University of Central Lancashire took a bite out of the BIG APPLE on our Work America programme last year and she got in touch to let us know about her journey...
If someone had said to me when I began my degree that I would be travelling to New York twice this year, I doubt I would have believed them!
Throughout my life I have had a number of full time jobs and have always been career driven, so when an opportunity presented itself for me to travel overseas for the first time in my life, at 29, to the United States last summer, I jumped. Two whole weeks in August of travel, adventure and relaxation around San Francisco, Las Vegas and Los Angeles with a few champagne cocktails thrown in gave me the bug to want to do it again.
After returning from my trip, I started to think about potential summer travel opportunities and with the Camp America programme not being to my taste, I began to seek other options and being that BUNAC was listed as a legitimate company on our university’s website and that I study alongside those who raved about having previously taken part in a BUNAC Work America programme, this sounded like the perfect opportunity. One that would allow me to gain international work and travel experience and add a great deal of benefit to my CV when applying for jobs post-graduation. What more could I ask for!
In September, I signed up for the programme and in knowing from the onset that it would be a reception role that I would be looking to apply for, the quest to find employment began.
Shortly before Christmas there was a variety of job advertisements, however, when an opening for summer Resident Assistant at BNAIP in Brooklyn, the BIG APPLE, emerged and face to face customer service being my forte, I just had to apply. The advertised role was limited to just ten people for interview, so I immediately submitted my application and waited to hear back. In receiving a response from BUNAC, I was offered a Skype interview, which I have to say is still one of the most nerve-wracking things I have ever done. The interview took place in mid-March from the comfort of my own home, with laptop in hand and within two weeks I received an email of congratulations from the BUNAC team.
It was quite late in the day from initially registering with BUNAC to securing a job, however, I am a great believer in that good preparation and patience pays off. I waited, and waited, as knew that if I wanted to work within the job role I had set my heart on, the waiting period would ultimately pay off… and it did!
In addition to the BUNAC programme, I had successfully secured a place on a university travel bursary trip to New York in April for one week to assist a team comprising of two screenwriting/film lecturers and screenwriting, film and photography students for the purpose of bringing two short films to life. An opportunity that allowed me to put my Journalism skills to the test, gain a taste of New York City life and one that I truly believe helped immensely in my interview for BNAIP.
I have to say the whole BUNAC application process was straight forward. I assumed it would be a highly complex one, however, with the continuous guidance and support from the staff throughout, it is really worth it if you want to combine work experience with the chance to see the world. As I am studying Journalism, I shall be blogging my journey on behalf of BUNAC Work Adventures Worldwide and keeping my eyes peeled for any breaking news stories in and around the area during my time across the pond.
I begin my Work America venture on 1st June, however, I shall be flying out to Brooklyn, New York on 28th May to give me sufficient time to settle in and find my way around! Watch this space!!