Staff Spotlight: Shayle Havemann



After working in the travel and study abroad industry for over a decade, Shayle decided to team up with one of her colleagues to create an organization that offered top quality programs in niche areas. Shayle enjoys a great adventure and the outdoors, is a travel addict, and loves nothing more than engaging with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

What is your favorite travel memory?

There are so many, but one of the more recent ones is walking through the mountains with the community leaders and farmers in Peru as they explained their agricultural techniques, collected fresh produce and then prepared one of the most delicious organic meals I have ever eaten, shared and celebrated with the entire village.

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

I have learned how important it is to listen to the voices of the community and that collaboration and utilizing skills and talents from a diverse group of people is the key to creating a holistic, well throughout, and inspirational product. Every country and culture has a unique way of looking at world and the challenges we face today, and by encouraging others to share their views, can only enhance your own understanding and allow to you to grow.

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

Watching students grow and develop and gain the confidence to apply themselves and open up to different perspectives. I have seen students leave programs or internships determined to go back and make a difference and I have watch them succeed and grow from strength to strength. Lifelong friendships are formed and diverse networks are cultivated, which are essential in this global society we have today.

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

I would go on our performing arts program because it is such a niche and unique product that offers the opportunity to work with artists and industry professionals, while at the same time exploring the idiosyncrasies of such a fascinating culture. What an experience to be able to travel to another country and be part of a creative team that works from start to finish on an entire production, while at the same time being mentored by some of the best in the industry!

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

I never stop being proud of my team. I feel honored to have such exceptional, dedicated and extremely intelligent and talented people who want to take part of this journey. What makes our company unique is the combination of industry experience and unique talent in niche areas that we have in our team and collaborators that students will get the opportunity to engage with.

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

Creating a successful company can be one of the most rewarding things to achieve. Some of the key things I have learnt are the importance of being open to feedback, listening to what people have to say and collaborating with the best in the industry! Always making time to explore and have fun. Most importantly to value your people above all else.