What is your favorite travel memory?
Many of my favorite travel memories revolve around the landlord of my apartment in Japan when I taught there. He looked like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid and was the most crotchety but caring old man in the world.
He would make fun of me for buying cheap wine from the supermarket but then show up a day later gifting me an extremely expensive bottle of wine with a gruff, "your wine very bad, this wine good," and walking away immediately waving off any thanks I tried to give.
He would force me to study Japanese and accost me on my way home from school to give me handwritten tests he created. He became my family in Japan and I miss him every day!
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Working at ITA has shown me that it is entirely possible to love your job and actually want to come in to work every day. Helping people get abroad is something I am extremely passionate about, and the fact that I can do it with such an honest and transparent company that really has its students' best interests at heart makes me feel immensely proud.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
I would take the online course while saving up some money and then head off on a tour of Central and South America! I'd want to teach for 6 months or a year in one country and then head off to the next. I'd probably also do online tutoring simultaneously.
I've been to Asia and Europe most extensively so I need a big adventure on a new continent. I'd probably start in Nicaragua and make my way south until I ended up in Patagonia, then maybe (if I also won the lottery) I'd take a cruise down to Antarctica to top it all off.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I think ITA is a great example of a company that provides an awesome work environment for its employees, and in turn we love our jobs and work our hardest to make the company successful and get more teachers abroad!
When everyone in your company believes strongly in your mission, and then is also given the opportunity to bond with each other through ridiculously fun company events, it makes for a strong team who does great work.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Honesty and transparency. There is too much in today's world that is governed by being misleading just to make a buck, and we don't want to be any part of that.
We've all travelled extensively and the vast majority of us have been teachers abroad, so we've been in the shoes of our students and know how they feel.
We always try to give the most honest, realistic and comprehensive support as possible.