Tara is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and graduated from Oklahoma State University with an honors degree in Strategic Communications and a minor in Spanish. Now, she lives in Austin, Texas. She loves to grab a coffee and explore her new home!
What is your favorite travel memory?
My favorite travel memory is from when I studied abroad in Costa Rica in 2017 through SOL.
A bunch of friends from my study abroad group and I, about 20 in total, rented an Airbnb in Monteverde, Costa Rica. We hiked all day, ate lunch at the cutest coffee shop and played board and card games all night. I was having so much fun that I completely forgot about how much I missed my friends and family back home in the states. I realized that these people that I'd only known for a couple of weeks were some of the friendliest, most accepting, adventurous and smartest people I'd ever met.
That weekend, Costa Rica and those people became my second home and family.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
SOL has helped me realize my worth as an employee. Because we are such a small office, everyone in headquarters kind of has to be a Jack of all Trades.
By working for SOL, I have become a more well-rounded employee. The encouragement I receive there has made me confident in trying new things and that my opinion is always respected in the workplace.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
My favorite stories of students after their study abroad experience are the Solmate reunions. It just goes to show that your study abroad experience doesn't end just because you returned to the states.
The people you study abroad with become life-long friends. Solmate reunions are filled with so much nostalgia and fond memories.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Hopefully, I'll go to every single one of our program locations! But, if I have to pick just one, I'd go to Buenos Aires, Argentina for the one-month TEFL course before doing a Spring semester at the University of Belgrano.
Living in Argentina would be fantastic because the landscapes are so diverse, the accents are beautiful and the food is DELICIOUS.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
SOL is unique because all of us that work in headquarters have actually studied abroad on a Sol Education Abroad program before. We know first-hand the process, the excitement, the anxiety and the growth that comes along with studying abroad.
My team makes me proud of how supportive we are of each other. We really depend on each other, as co-workers and as friends. They all make me so excited to come into work every day!
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think a lot of SOL's success comes from our team viewing students as individuals, and not numbers. We genuinely want what is best for the student, so we are transparent and upfront with them. I think students pick up on our honesty and appreciate that. We listen to each student and make sure that their needs and wants are fulfilled so that they have the time of their life while they're abroad.