Alyssa has labeled herself as the “Resident Millennial of Forum-Nexus” since joining the team in 2014 where she experienced her first summer abroad. She grew up in North Carolina and earned a degree in Communications, Mass Media, and Journalism at UNC Charlotte. Today, she serves as an Admissions Counselor and Social Media Manager, passionate to lead college students in making their own Study Abroad experiences and memories.
What is your favorite travel memory?
Honestly, my favorite travel memory is going abroad for the first time with Forum-Nexus in 2014. I had never left the East Coast, so this was a very exciting, eye-opening experience for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to make many beautiful travel memories since. Three specific memories that stand out to me are:
- Cove-hopping on boats with friends in Rhodes, Greece.
- Spending the day on top of Mont Brévent in Chamonix, France. The views are mind-blowingly beautiful.
- Traveling with my best friend (who I met through Forum-Nexus!) to Ireland. We saw the Cliffs of Moher, explored Dublin, Galway, and found a bakery with the best donuts I’ve ever had.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Studying abroad and working for Forum-Nexus reminds me over and over again of the importance of being a good global citizen. Every day, I strive to be tolerant, patient, understanding, and open to “new” and “different” things and people.
Working with my colleagues of different nationalities, religions, backgrounds, and meeting students of the same diversity summer after summer strengthened my cross-cultural communication skills and fueled my curiosity of the world.
Studying abroad with Forum-Nexus and now working on this incredible team has changed me for the better.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
One of my favorite stories is from a student I now consider a friend! She initially signed up for a Study Abroad Program through her school, and it was canceled last minute. Her mom found Forum-Nexus and connected with me immediately. Together, we encouraged her daughter to at least apply. The student was reluctant because she was so bummed about her school’s program being canceled and didn’t want to rush into another decision.
Fast-forward, and the student attended our full program that summer. 1.5 weeks into the program, she pulled me aside and said, “I can’t believe I almost didn’t get to experience this. Thank you for encouraging me to apply and join Forum-Nexus. This is the best summer of my life.”
I’ll never forget that feeling! I so wanted her to have an amazing summer, and the fact that Forum-Nexus exceeded her expectations was so special.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
100% the Europe full term session. The more Forum-Nexus, the better. Depending on the summer, the itinerary features 9+ European cities and the option to see an additional 1-5 more cities.
I’ve watched students depart early on one of our shorter sessions, and they are always so upset to leave. One summer, I could only work half the program, and was crushed to leave early. The time on Forum-Nexus is so magical! If you don’t go for the whole summer, you WILL get FOMO.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
Our company is super unique because we are all friends and have known each other for several years now. In some ways, Forum-Nexus is run like a family business. We work really hard, help each other with tasks/projects whenever we can, and are there for each other in our personal lives as well.
This bond has sustained FN for 28+ years, and most importantly, it gives a very warm feel to the program which the students notice and reciprocate.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
We all work under the same philosophy of being positive and doing our best to be good global citizens. In all things, we strive for upbeat, non-negative attitudes. This reflects well in the way we treat one another and the quality of our work.
Since we promote the importance of students increasing their International IQ, we do our best to carry that out in being accepting of all people/cultures, and open to learning about things outside of our comfort zones.