Staff Member Spotlight: Nora Rich

Title
Admissions Advisor

Photos

Nora has worked as the Winterline Admissions Advisor since 2016. She studied abroad in Granada, Spain in college, and recognizing the impact that experience had on her life, she values the opportunity to share that with Winterline students.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I studied abroad in Granada, Spain during college. One afternoon, my host family and I went out together for tapas and lunch. We wandered around the city, ran into many of their friends, and really had the opportunity to bond and get to know each other better. We had so much fun and I also realized that afternoon how comfortable I had become in the city and how much my Spanish had improved while I was there.

Later that afternoon, we took the dog on a walk through the grounds of the Alhambra, which is one of the most popular sites in Spain. They only lived a few blocks from it! I felt so lucky to live close to such an incredible monument and be able to visit it so often. Being at home in a new, foreign city is a special feeling.

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

My communication skills have certainly improved! As the Admissions Advisor at Winterline, I talk to so many different people from the beginning of the admissions process through to when a student decides to enroll, including students, parents, alumni, advisors, teachers, and my colleagues. I love getting the opportunity to share our program with so many people and to help them plan the best gap year they can.

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

At the end of the program each year, our students take some time to share reflections on their gap year, most recently by doing a StorySlam. One of our students talked to us about his Independent Study Project (ISP). For his Trimester 1 ISP in Costa Rica, he ended up not getting his first choice project, and went into the week very nervous and not excited about what he would be doing. That week totally surprised him though, and he bonded quickly with his host family and had an incredible week. It had such an impact on him that he changed his plans for his Trimester 3 ISP to focus on the skills he learned in Costa Rica and build upon those experiences.

His story was a perfect reminder to me about what is so great about our program. Students learn so many new skills that they are bound to discover new interests and passions, all while making meaningful connections with the cultures that they experience along the way.

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

I'd definitely choose the Itinerary 1 option for our 9 month Global Skills Program! I work for Winterline because I studied abroad in college and believe in the power and importance of international experiential education, but working here has also made me realize that I definitely should have taken a gap year myself before going to college.

A program like ours would have been perfect for me, since I didn't know what I wanted to do in college at all and didn't feel ready to be there. The 9-month program teaches so many useful and interesting skills, and Itinerary 1 especially goes to a lot of places I would love to visit, including multiple countries in Asia and Europe.

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

The sheer variety of skills that Winterline is what makes us so unique! Our students learn skills that will be useful in college, their career, and the rest of their lives, discovering new interests along the way. With over 100 skills, it's impossible not to find something new and exciting.

I always feel especially proud of our team at the graduation ceremony we hold at the end of the program each year. It's so rewarding to see how the students grow during the program. As one of the only people at Winterline who gets to talk to all of our students before they start their gap year, I get to see how they grow during the year, and I know how hard our whole team worked to build that experience for them.

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

Teamwork and collaboration! At Winterline we all have the opportunity and freedom to share our ideas and thoughts about the program, good ideas can come from anywhere, so it's important to give everyone the ability to share those ideas. Each year we work hard to improve upon the program, so feedback from our students and Field Advisors, in addition to ideas from the Winterline office staff, all play a part in making the program the best it can be.