Staff Spotlight: Kaylynn McCalister

Harlaxton Advisor


Kaylynn works with almost all aspects of Harlaxton from the Evansville side, from applications to an ambassador program. She studied abroad at Harlaxton and in Mexico during her time as a student at UE, which inspired her to pursue a Master's and start her career in international education!

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's probably my most recent travel experience, but getting the opportunity to go back to Harlaxton and the UK since working here was amazing! Seeing the magic that we help set up from here in Evansville actually unfolding at the manor really reminded me how special this program is and why we do the work we do here.

I also traveled some after visiting Harlaxton, and I so enjoyed seeing more of the UK. Staying with a friend in Malvern and getting engaged in Scotland were both such special moments of that trip! These memories keep me focused on what's important for my work and life--students, friends, and family!

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

I started working in the office here as a graduate intern as I was finishing my Master's degree, and I feel like I've learned as much from working here as I did from my graduate classes! This office has taught me a lot about the value of teamwork and seeing the big picture. Being there to support my colleagues and knowing that they are there to support and help me with any projects or issues that we have is what allows us to all be successful. In the same vein, our director always makes sure that we understand the why behind every project and question why we do things in certain ways--it helps give us all a sense of purpose and supports innovation in our office!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I think the best thing I've heard is something that students say pretty often after Harlaxton--they talk about how the program opened up their eyes to how big the world is and gave them opportunities to be independent. Knowing that this experience can help them become more aware and confident in this world really makes what we do worthwhile.

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

Harlaxton is our program, so that's what I would choose, but what I think a lot of people don't realize is that it is different each semester. While some of the classic and amazing elements of Harlaxton stay the same year after year, the faculty, classes, and students are unique every season!

So what I would pick right now for Harlaxton would be this coming spring semester, when we have a political science professor, who I had in class as an undergrad student at UE, teaching a terrorism and counter-terrorism course at the manor. It just sounds like such a timely, interesting, and place-based course. In addition to that class, I think the British politics class taught by one of our British faculty would be pretty high on my list for the program (and that's offered every semester!). I guess with so many political changes in the world right now, I would love to be able to go to Harlaxton and take those courses there in the UK this spring!

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

Harlaxton is unique because it's a provider within a university. While that sometimes has its challenges, I think it allows us to work toward the best of both sides of study abroad: personal connections with students throughout the process and quality programming. I am so proud to be part of a team that embraces our unique place and strives to create the best experiences for students that we can!

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

Vision! Both the individuals and the group in a company or a program have to know what their vision is for themselves and for the group to be a success. Our team is so great about focusing on that bigger picture, and we all also have an idea of what we can and want to do in this field-- that's what keeps us growing, innovating, and loving what we do! Even when the small things don't go right or we face challenges, I know we'll continue in the way of success as long as we keep our vision.