Staff Spotlight: Garret Brent

Social Media & Community Manager


What is your favorite travel memory?

In 2016 I spent a month and a half in southern Europe, where we would spend long hours in the car driving through the countryside, visiting small towns in Algarve in Portugal and Andalusia in Spain. It was my first time traveling as an adult and I grew up a lot on that trip.

For the last leg of our trip we flew to the Portuguese island of Madeira off the coast of Africa. This was by far my favorite part of the trip - the perfect island getaway to round off my adventures. We stayed in an apartment in the Old Town of Funchal, Madeira's capital.

There was a lot to do on the island, and many of my favorite travel memories come from the time I spent there. Whether it was hiking through the mountains along old water canals called 'Levadas' or driving on the ring highway all the way around the island to explore the small towns and unique geographical features, there was so much to see and do!

My absolute favorite memory was swimming in the Atlantic Ocean in a designated swimming area. There was a concrete platform built into the cliffside that jutted out into the water, allowing for sunbathing next to deep, calm waters. The water was a dark, sapphire blue color, and it was so clear and warm.

We spent hours swimming and relaxing, watching and talking to the locals. There was a floating plastic platform anchored a ways out that you could swim to and lay on, soaking in the sun. With the vast expanse of the Atlantic to one side and the sheer cliffs of the island to the other, I remember feeling a measure of calm, contentment and presence that I had never felt before. It was truly wonderful.

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

I've spent a long time looking for the right place to work, with a great culture, work I want to do, a place that will challenge me to grow, and above all, a place where I can find purpose and work towards something I believe in.

My last company wasn't so great. The culture was aggressive and competitive, there was no spirit of collaboration. It was valuable in that I learned what I'm looking for in a company.

With only a very short time spent at GVI, I already know that I've found a place built on passion, compassion, collaboration, and purpose. Since being here, I've learned the true value and benefit of working for a place that is trying to achieve a solid, meaningful purpose. I believe in this purpose, and it makes coming into work every day a pleasure. I look forward to getting in, because I know that I am contributing to something bigger than myself.

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

Every time I think about which course I want to go on, I change my mind! It definitely needs to be one focusing on wildlife. The course in Limpopo in the Karongwe Game Reserve is one I would like to do, because I grew up in a similar ecology and it's been a long time since I've returned to the wild.

I think the one I would most love to do is a diving course in Fiji on the island of Cagalai. I've always wanted to learn how to dive, and I've never been anywhere other than Europe. To stay on a small island, experience the remoteness and tropical atmosphere, with beaches, tons of new and strange marine life, would be an experience that is very far out of my normal.

I always want to expand my view of the world, both geographically and perceptively.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

The thing that stands out at GVI for me is that no one takes themselves too seriously. I believe it has a lot to do with the fact that most of the people here believe in the purpose of GVI. It's not about getting ahead at all costs. It's about making an impact and enabling the mind and soul expanding journeys that make for better global citizens.

People here at GVI know that they are working towards something bigger than their own ambitions, which is a rare and wonderful quality.

We send people around the world and enable their growth. So many of our customers return home completely changed for the better. They have a broader, more in-depth understand of the world and of themselves.

This is something I actively pursue for myself, so it is wonderful to be a part of a team that enable this for others.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

A company that values their employees and treats them well is a company that understands its priorities. The employees are the ones doing the work to keep the company going. Happy employees contribute to a happy company culture, which directly affects the strategic and commercial success of the company.

Everything starts with a company's employees, but for some strange reason, far too many companies treat their own people poorly. The employees are the key resource in a company, and their happiness can often determine how well a company does and how the company is perceived from the outside.