What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite travel memory would be exploring my own country (South Africa). I like many people take it for granted that I live in South Africa and feel the need to travel outside of my county instead of exploring the wonders it has to offer. The last couple of years I have traveled to various destinations in South Africa and by far my most memorable would be the beautiful sunsets and hiking trails in Tietiesbaai which is located in in the Western Cape near a fishing village of Paternoster.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
The Philippines -- this destination is made up of more than 7,000 islands unlike anywhere else in the world. The country offers a wide range of cultures as well as different types of outdoor activities on the water and land. The Philippines has world class beaches and +-30 volcanoes. I would have to say Dubai is the most overrated destination in the world.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Customer relations would be the biggest factor in a successful company. Making sure customers are happy and satisfied should be every company's goal/ aim. Customers are where the money comes from and therefore we should keep our standards high to accommodate them. I also believe good leadership skills are what makes a company successful.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I started off as a receptionist at the current company with little or even no confidence to address/communicate to a large group. I have grown from a receptionist to being a programs coordinator where I am involved from the start of a clients application right to the end of their stay. Being involved with this many clients has given me the confidence speak in front of a large group of people as well as feel comfortable although I am out of my comfort zone.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
We are an NGO and offer affordable prices to our clients. We are involved with our clients from the minute we receive their application. Throughout our programs, our participants also have a designated staff member on hand 24 hours to attend to any needs that should arise.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.
The moment I felt proud be part of my team would be was when we hosted a British government funded group in Mamre just outside of Cape Town. The platform 2 group was about 20 volunteers who traveled for a 8 week period back to back. Once the 1 group left, the next group would come in, sometimes we would have 2 groups at a time. For these groups, we had to customize a volunteer program for these participants. This was very admin-based as we had to report everything to the sending company, as well as console and accommodate first-time travelers.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The best story from a returning volunteer would be a participant that joined our program 4 years ago and returned to manage 1 of our hostels. He found love and is currently back home in New York in a long distance with a woman from Cape Town and is planning to get married soon.