Andrew is an Admissions Counselor at Global Experiences and works with thousands of college-aged students from around the globe. Besides international education, he enjoys theatre, writing, reading, and personal fitness.
What is your favorite travel memory?
My group of students and I had just arrived in Salzburg, Austria to blue skies and warm weather. I needed some alone time after some stressful travel (16 year olds in a foreign environment will challenge the patience of even the most practiced monks), so I wandered the city to stretch my legs and enjoy the freedom.
This was my 3rd time in Salzburg, so I had seen most of the tourist attractions; however, an idea struck. Since THE SOUND OF MUSIC is my all-time favorite movie musical, I challenged myself to a photo scavenger hunt to find all the things in “My Favorite Things.” I found Raindrops on Roses in the Mirabell gardens, Whiskers on Kittens on a hand-painted toy in a local shop, Creme Colored Ponies riding through the streets, and a Bright Copper Kettle in an antique shop. It was a time I enjoyed living in the moment and relaxed with the sights and sounds of a beautiful town nestled gently between the rolling hills around the Alps.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I was a high school teacher for five years, teaching International Baccalaureate theatre courses and general English. While Global Experiences internships are very much so an educational experience, I had to learn the ins and outs of universities, visas, credits, and career paths. When I speak to students and people interested in working abroad, I have developed a confidence to connect with them personally and illustrate for them what their future adventure could look like.
I also had never been exposed to CliftonStrengths, which has been a game changer in both my professional and personal life. My strengths are Individualization, Futuristic, Restorative, Activator, and Relator. I had finally found a way to articulate my strengths and found it brilliant that Global Experiences uses this system to guide the intern's experience. Positive psychology for the win!
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
The very first student I worked with came from South Africa and wanted to do an internship in NYC. She interviewed well for her internship and was offered a position within a high-end fashion company in Manhattan. Later, she would get to work for her company's Fashion Week and was working with models and designers from all over the world. She even came back to me before the program ended and was ready to do an internship in Paris the following summer!
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Without hesitation, I would have to say Barcelona. I absolutely fell in love with the program when I started at Global Experiences. It has all of my favorite things - centuries old architecture, delicious cuisine, fiery dancing, warm beaches, and beautiful landscapes. This destination draws in a huge international crowd, so a melting pot of ideas and industries flit throughout the city which is great for our interns. You want to do Fashion, great! You want to do Film, better! You want to work in Nutrition, why not?
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I feel valued, which translates into us valuing all of our interns. If we have an idea, it is listened to and can be tested or tried without roadblocks. We are provided with tools of support and optimism, which I haven't experienced in many work places. Personally, I am always really proud of the Admissions team whenever we make and share materials and resources, so we can all be successful.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Communication and honesty. Communication is the absolute first step to success. When everyone is on the same page, everything just seems to move with fluidity. And when communicating, it is imperative to be honest. This is important to both our co-workers and our interns. Honesty allows for clear expectations and a joyful experience.