Staff Spotlight: Tyler Andrews



Tyler has been leading trips all over the world, but mostly in Latin America for over a decade.

In addition to leading trips, he is a professional long-distance runner and has competed at various World Championships.

What is your favorite travel memory?

My favorite memory is probably my first longer-term time spent abroad.

When I was 18, I spent about 4 months in Quito, Ecuador. I'd never traveled without my family and had never been to a place like Quito before. Everything blew me away: the mountains, the food, the bright equatorial sunshine, the people I met, the family I stayed with. It ended up completely changing the direction of my life.

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

I've grown enormously since I began working for Strive in 2010. Having spent so many summers in Peru, I learned so much about that particular place and also about how to manage programs in general.

There's so much that can only really be learned through experience and so many conversations that can only happen in person. I've become a much more patient person because of these realizations and -- I hope -- a better leader because of it.

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

I think the best stories I hear are the people for whom traveling to a new place has really changed the course of their lives (like it did for me). I've had a handful of students tell me that their time with Strive made them want to pursue a career in international development or take their language courses more seriously. Those are the most powerful stories for me.

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

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

If I could go to any program we offer, I'd probably go to Kenya because I never get to go there! Having spent the most time of anyone at Strive in Peru, I've never had the chance to visit our program in Iten, Kenya. As a runner, I'd love to go there and be a part of the elite running culture. Maybe some year...

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

Our focus on athletics, specifically running and other endurance sports is definitely the thing that makes us unique. There are dozens of programs that offer travel (and sometimes service-learning) opportunities to students, but we're the only program out there that organizes programs for student-athletes specifically so that they can continue training at whatever level they need while still having an amazing experience abroad.

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

I think valuing each participant as an individual is the most important factor in being successful.

We truly try to get to know each participant as a person, as an athlete, as a traveler, and this happens before as well as during the programs. We're a big enough company that we have lots to offer, but we're small enough that we have the privilege of really getting to know everyone who comes through. I think that's something special.