What is your favorite travel memory?
How do you pick a favorite travel memory???
I have endless stories that I could talk about for days, but I will never forget a homestay in Turkey, where the family I stayed with opened their home to me and taught me all about their lives, customs, and culture. The mother in the house was just learning English and we sat over long dinners telling stories of our lives, families, and travels and we would pause every once in awhile to ask her son to translate a few words for each other. It was an amazing experience that I truly felt I was part of someone's life on the other side of the world from me and is something I will never forget.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
I don't believe in overrated or underrated countries purely because everyone sees places differently, but I do believe that what you put into it is what you get out if it. If you just look at the surface of a country and don't get to know the history, or the culture, or the geography, you are missing out on a huge part of the place you are seeing. Some of the places I enjoyed traveling to the most were the countries I least expected and really had amazing histories, cultures, and friendly people.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Passion and deep institutional knowledge are the biggest factors in the success of Semester at Sea. Most, if not all, of the ISE/Semester at Sea staff are alumni of the program and know how life changing it can be and that passion is put in each day they work there.
Each and every employee believes in the program and the mission of Semester at Sea, and that ships can carry more than cargo, they can carry ideas. They believe that for over 50 years, Semester at Sea has taught students that the world is their classroom and helped students turn into global citizens.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
At any job, just like any opportunity, you have the ability to get out as much as you put in. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by hard working people that encourage going above and beyond and allowing for creative and new solutions. With the world changing and technology improving every day, it creates unique challenges, but also great opportunities to get more done from other locations or change something to work more efficiently. With easier and faster access to all corners of the world, the opportunities are endless.
What unique qualities does your company possess?
Semester at Sea is unique in so many ways, but the employees unwavering passion and dedication to the program are unique to any other company I have ever seen. The ability to travel to the ship for embarkation and disembarkation is also very unique. Many companies you do not get to meet their students or customers.
With Semester at Sea, you get to work with the students from admission, preparation, watch them succeed on the voyage, and see them hold their head high as they walk off the ship at the end of a life changing semester. There is nothing more rewarding than that.