Ever have one of those I-can’t-believe-this-is-really-my-job moments? Brigid, Director of Sales for EF College Study Tours in Boston, Massachusetts, has had quite a few of these during her five years with EF Education First, but one experience stands out above the rest.
“When I first started at EF, I thought ‘this place is not real,’ and I still have those moments,” laughs Brigid. “I’ve been able to travel to places I literally never thought I would go. I’ll always remember the day that I snorkeled for the first time in the Galápagos Islands and saw sea turtles and sea lions up close.”
On this particular EF adventure, the Connecticut native joined a group of college students as they explored the flora and fauna of the remote archipelago, located more than 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. During this study abroad experience, the group stopped at key sites where the study of evolutionary biology began, including the historic home of the one-and-only Charles Darwin.
“Two students on the trip actually had different Darwin tattoos,” recalls Brigid. “So when we went to the Darwin Foundation, they thought it was the coolest thing ever. It was awesome to witness their enthusiasm as they watched the things they’ve studied for so long come to life—it brought a whole new dimension to the trip.”
Seeing firsthand how the power of studying abroad can transform students’ lives is what keeps Brigid connected to the work she does every day. Brigid, who studied education at the University of Connecticut, helps EF College Study Tours send students on life-changing adventures by working with university staff, professors, and deans to create short-term study abroad programs. In her role as Director of Sales, she also works one-on-one with team members to help them achieve their own career aspirations.
“I’m super motivated by team dynamics, and creating cohesiveness and harmony within a team environment,” says Brigid. “One of my strengths is my antenna. When I’m training team members, I’m able to zone into what motivates them as an individual. It’s one of the few benefits of growing up as a middle child.”
From a young age, Brigid says she was attuned to the needs of her siblings and took responsibility for helping them to communicate and advocate for themselves—a trait that she feels distinguishes her leadership style today.
“I’m really proud of having a huge impact on my teammates,” reflects Brigid. “I want them to know that I’ve been exactly where they are. I’m passionate about working with them to figure out what they want their careers at EF to look like and helping them take steps to achieve that.”
During her time at EF, Brigid has moved her career forward year after year, transitioning from Sales Trainer all the way to her current role as Director of Sales. Her secret to success? Raising her hand when a new opportunity arises and being prepared to roll up her sleeves and do the work.
“In the five years I’ve worked here, there have been opportunities I’ve raised my hand for, and also ones that have been given to me through hard work,” Brigid recalls. “I’ve been able to participate in orientations abroad, give presentations, meet so many customers—the list goes on.”
Through the work she does every day, whether it’s providing individual training and mentorship or developing new team-building exercises, Brigid urges her staff to remain focused on their mission and remember the reasons they chose EF.
“When you provide travel, you’re challenging people to be uncomfortable in the very best way—ways that will forever improve their lives,” she says. “For students, having a simple exchange with someone who speaks a different language can make all the difference. In my own experience, traveling with EF has opened me to see the world from new perspectives. It’s made me more empathetic and helped me become a better leader.”
Brigid is an avid illustrator, chronicling her daily life and world travels in the pages of her sketchbook. Follow her adventures at @bdrawsthings.