Jennifer Holland, herself an alumna of the Program, has been with CYA for 22 years; first as a student and then an administrator. Her favorite things are her family, CYA, Greeks, and the food and natural beauty of Greece.
What is your favorite travel memory?
I have wonderful memories from my first CYA trip to the Peloponnese. My favorite is of winding through the hills and plains of the Argolid on a bus with my fellow students. As we made our way to Epidaurus we were being read Henry Miller’s, description of the Argolid plain and the road to Epidaurus from his book, The Colossus of Maroussi.
The combination of what I was seeing, Miller’s descriptions, and Professor Diamant’s voice, made the whole experience out of this world. For the moment nothing existed apart from myself, the deep silver-greens and bright oranges of the plain’s olive and orange groves, and the clear blue Greek sky always on the horizon, beckoning us toward our next adventure.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
I think that working for the Athens office of CYA has helped me become a citizen of the world as opposed to (just) an American. In the same way that our course offerings invite and inspire our students to open their horizons, awakening them to new points of view and ways of thinking that they’d never encountered or considered until stepping foot in Greece, being a part of the CYA team has opened my own horizons and exposed me to situations, people, and places that continue to inspire, challenge, and educate.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
My favorite stories are usually having to do with how Greece and things Greek continue to stay with an alum even after several years have passed since they completed their studies here. Many return, sometimes with their partners and families, having maintained their knowledge of Greek and often have improved it to a level close to fluency. Some continue to cook the Greek dishes they learned to cook while in the Program. Others return to visit with friends made in Greece while they were students at CYA. The connection to Greece is often a deep and permanent one. This is most rewarding.
If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?
Having already happily studied things ancient and classic while studying at CYA back in the day, I would take our courses on urbanism or anything environmental. This seems to me most relevant to the present. Likewise, our courses on international relations and politics would be valuable and extremely interesting. We have some of the best people in the field covering these subjects.
What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?
I’m not sure if this is unique, but it certainly does make me proud. We are not a large school with the capacity for thousands of students, but we operate as one by offering many options and services that go above and beyond what might be expected from a program of its size. I think this is because we have an extremely dedicated team. Everyone has a keen and genuine interest in what they do and a strong belief in the CYA mission. We work hard to deliver the best possible experience to our students.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
I think that going the extra mile for the student, client, or customer, maintaining authenticity, and striving to promote and uphold high standards when it comes to teamwork, communication, and goals greatly contribute to attaining and maintaining a successful program or company. This is something CYA does and something our students and the entire CYA community benefit from.