America is home of some of the world’s largest hospitality businesses, who are true industry leaders. If you are wanting to embark on a meaningful career in hospitality, there is no doubt that the USA is the place to be. Our Bridge USA program was designed to make dreams of living in America a reality for countless young graduates, which we have been doing now for over 20 years. The return of our Mumbai-based job fair this year in May marked a new beginning for the Bridge USA, formerly known as the J1 Internship program. After an enthusiastic response to the fair from eager hospitality students and our USA business partners, we saw the impact it can have on young professionals and the clear demand there that remains for this program.
The Bridge USA program connects graduates between the ages of twenty to thirty, to internship placements with our hospitality partners in the USA, where they can work for one year with the J1 Visa. We have partnered with world-class hospitality leaders, including the likes of Fairmont, Marriot and Hyatt. The internships provide in-depth training in the graduates’ specialist field, exposure to real American life and culture, and of course, the chance for an adventure of a lifetime. We work with some of the industry’s must recognisable names, such Hilton, Ritz, W Hotels and Gaylord Hotels, who all have property locations all over the USA. Meaning our interns can secure placements in resorts anywhere from the Rocky Mountains to New York City. City skylines and dramatic sceneries which feel straight out of a film set, are just at the doorstep of the new homes of the Vira interns. When students return home, they report to Vira that they have secured jobs with their dream companies, because of the quality training and experience they gained whilst in America.
Since the Bridge USA program began over 20 years ago, our Mumbai-based job fairs provided an opportunity for students to meet and interview with representatives from our major USA partners. After a hiatus from the fairs over the pandemic years, Vira returned to Mumbai in May of this year. 115 eager students looking not only to level-up their career, but to also seek adventure and an experience of overseas life, joined us over the 3-day fair at Vira. We are thrilled to say that of those 115 students, 111 secured placements in with American hospitality businesses.
The program was designed not only to connect graduates with the best possible job opportunities, but to guide and assist them through every stage of the application process. From the very first job applications, through visa interviews, and even once students are in America, Vira offers guidance and support. While many people dream of living and working in America, the visa application process can often feel intimidating. The USA Bridge program streamlines the process, taking as little as 10-12 weeks. In the weeks and months following the fair, we worked closely with these students to them ready to set off on their adventure. Many students from the May fair have already landed in America and are their American adventure has officially begun!
The Bridge USA program is stronger than ever, as we are in the midst of preparing for our next fair in Mumbai later this year. Each year we see the momentum build as more young students seize the opportunity to level up their career overseas.