The majority of my operational time with GoBeyond was spent in the British Virgin Islands and over the years it really became a second home for me. After Hurricane Irma went through in September 2017, I had the opportunity to get into the territory and get a sense of what people were dealing with and how GoBeyond could best help leading up to and during summer 2018. It's amazing to see and participate in the community that forms in the wake of a disaster.
Elliot holds professional certifications in sailing, field research, and wilderness medicine that allow him to provide his students with the same incredible experience and lessons our programs gave him. When not running summer programs in the BVI, China, Thailand, India, Costa Rica or Ecuador, Elliot splits his time between the Florida GXG headquarters and Denver, Colorado where he is currently pursuing a master's degree.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
Working for GoBeyond during summers has been one of the most formative, challenging, and rewarding activities I've ever been a part of. I've been able to not only facilitate the growth of my students and the communities we work with but also grown myself. There is basically no limit to the growth a staff member can experience in these programs.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
When students return for a second or third program, they often talk about having a great time on the program and gaining a lot from it but maintain a feeling that they had to return because they wanted to give more to the people and causes we work with.
GoBeyond programs fully immerse students in a global issue and provide an opportunity to help those trying to resolve it. It's not uncommon for students to identify with that issue, whether it's working with orphans in China or sea turtles in the BVI, and come back for another shot.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Although I spent most of my operational time with GoBeyond running the program in the BVI, the opportunity to run programs in Asia changed my life. The work we do in India is particularly impactful because it gives the students the opportunity to have an extended impact on one community bearing the weight of a global issue.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I think our company stands out in the field because of our relationships with partner organizations around the world. I genuinely believe that the people behind these groups are some of the most selfless and inspiring individuals I will ever meet. Their commitment to the issues their organizations address and the well-being and growth of GoBeyond students is an irreplaceable part of this program.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think the biggest factor in being successful in this industry is maintaining a sense of responsibility to all stakeholders. Not only trying to maximize the experience of the students but also fostering the company's relationship with staff members, partner organizations, and vendors. So much of the success of these programs are placed in the hands of those people and keeping them happy as well as hearing their input is how the programs get better.