Staff Spotlight: Yachen Gong

Short-Term Program Coordinator
Being a big traveler herself, Yachen started her internship at United Planet as a Short-Term Program Coordinator, helping volunteers to find the perfect project to give back to the local communities in Costa Rica, Chile, China, Ecuador, South Africa and Tanzania.

Yachen from United Planet

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's really hard for me to pick out one favorite travel memory, because every city and every trip has its own highlight. But I'll always remember the time when we drove 4 hours in the heavy rain on a mountain near Lake Zell just to find the hotel.

By the time we got there, I was really tired and upset. But when I woke up in the morning and opened up my window, I saw the most breathtaking view in my entire life. Lake Zell is the place I think about when I'm having a bad day.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

This is my first full-time job and also my first time to be in a completely new city/country and have a fresh start. I've definitely grown a lot as an individual and as a worker. Thanks to my amazing team, I learnt to take responsibilities, adjust quickly to new things, take and release stress, and most importantly, I learnt to be aware of myself and my colleagues so we can work together better as a team.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I find the Sea Turtle Quest in Costa Rica really interesting. I've traveled to some places in Asia, Europe and North America, but I've never experienced Latin America. Thinking about the different and unique cultural experience there makes me feel really excited!

Additionally, not only the idea of promoting long-term survival of this endangered species but also witnessing baby turtles with my own eyes sound like the coolest thing ever!