It’s really no surprise that Micaela ended up working at EF Education First. Travel is in her blood. From a young age, the Colorado native discovered the world alongside father Curt, former Director of International Relations for the United States Olympic Committee.
“My dad definitely gave me the travel bug,” laughs the Furman University graduate. “We’ve traveled together all over the world, taking students on trips to World Cup matches and Olympic games.” From cheering on Olympic athletes in London to studying abroad in Edinburgh, Micaela has always been one to say “yes” to new travel experiences. In fact, it was an unshakeable itch to discover a different city that led her to EF.
“I randomly moved to Boston after my junior year of college,” recalls Micaela. “I just wanted an excuse to live there.” Without realizing it, Micaela turned this new adventure into a career-defining summer. She quickly landed a job recruiting families to host exchange students in Boston’s North Shore. After her senior year of college, her former manager invited her to lead summer activities for students ages 8 to 18 at EF’s international boarding school in New York, EF Academy. As challenging as this job was, Micaela grew a lot, both personally and professionally. And afterward, she knew without a doubt that she and EF were meant to be.
“I knew EF was the right fit for me because of my first boss,” recalls Micaela. “During the two summers I worked for him, he was always willing to listen to my ideas and help me turn them into realities. I loved all of the EF people I worked with. Everyone had a strong work ethic and was so high energy.”
Now back in EF’s Boston office, Micaela continues to draw from the experience and relationships she developed as a Student Activities Leader in New York. Using her eye for detail, penchant for planning, and people skills, today she plays a huge role in making sure that each and every EF Ultimate Break trip goes off without a hitch. As a Customer Account Specialist, she’s the link that binds the operations team, Tour Directors, and all of the 18- to 29-year-old travelers who choose EF Ultimate Break to go out and discover the world.
“I’m in charge of balance management for Ultimate Break. I also work with all of our Tour Directors around the globe, providing them with their pre-tour reports and supporting them while on tour,” says Micaela. And when she’s not busy with all of that, she’s working with colleagues to improve tour processes and develop new initiatives, like EF Ultimate Break’s Greeks to Greece program.
“Greeks to Greece is a group travel experience that brings students in fraternities and sororities to where the traditions began,” says Micaela. “As someone who was involved in Greek life, I was really interested in working on this project.” Thanks to Micaela and her colleagues’ efforts, the first Greeks to Greece trip took off to great success in 2018. And with many more students signed up for the 2019 departure, its future is looking bright.
But this isn’t the only way Micaela is shaping the future of Ultimate Break. Recently, she traveled to Lisbon, Portugal to meet the Tour Directors she communicates with on a daily basis. Together, they collaborated to tackle current challenges and come up with creative solutions.
“I work with all of the Tour Directors for our product, and so to meet the majority of them in person was a great experience,” reflects Micaela. “I presented in front of about 60 of them and got to discuss ideas we all had for improving the business, some of which we have acted on in the past few months.”
Both at work and in life, Micaela remains an avid adventurer. Whether she’s running a marathon in Honolulu or singing center stage during the EF’s Got Talent Competition, she’s always pushing forward, a quality she credits to her years at EF.
“Working at EF has made me a much more worldly person,” says Micaela. “Speaking and working with people from around the world each day has opened my eyes even more to what EF is all about: opening the world through education. I think that is so important, and being reminded of it each day at work is something I am both grateful for and proud of.”