By Aoife McGinley, Career Advancement Program Ambassador Scholar

Almost finished three months at my internship in The Club at Ibis, and Christmas is fast approaching! As the weeks have gone by I have observed the club getting busier especially when it comes to the holidays. Being from Ireland I have never experienced Thanksgiving, we had been warned by the staff that besides Christmas it is one of the biggest holidays. Little did we know that our newly opened clubhouse would hold a massive Thanksgiving dinner in the grand ballroom seating over six hundred and fifty members along with their extended family. It was definitely a great cultural experience getting to witness an important American holiday. Before Thanksgiving had even finished, the decorators were already running around the Clubhouse adorning it with spruce and lights getting it ready for the Christmas festivities.

I am writing this blog and quickly checking my Christmas countdown application on my phone. It’s 16 days away! It’s crazy to think how fast the weeks are going by. For me, Christmastime in Florida is really weird! I’m used to the freezing cold temperatures and horrendous weather in Ireland, so going out in shorts and a t-shirt is a completely different experience at this time of year. Christmas is a family time, and although it will be tough spending it apart from my massive crazy family, I am very grateful to have such a fabulous “American family” to stuff my face with this year round.

In the last week of November I received a package from my wee mummy back home. She sent me clothes along with various Christmas decorations and my very own stocking, but most importantly not to forget, my beloved Punjana tea bags! As soon as December 1 came, we purchased a Christmas tree for our apartment. Festive fever without a doubt has kicked in! As Buddy the Elf says “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” In our case, I’m surprised we haven’t received a noise complaint for the amount of screeching that goes on every time we put on the Michael Bublé Christmas Album.

Learn more about the Career Advancement Program and how you can apply to become an Intern or Trainee in the U.S.