Meg’s path to EF Education First seems almost destined. As the daughter of a longtime U.S. diplomat and elementary school teacher-turned State Department consultant, Meg spent her early years living all over the globe. A self-proclaimed “third-culture kid,” Meg credits her nomadic childhood with giving her a different perspective on the world and education.
“Living in cultures that have different religions, languages, money, and values gave me a true sense of tolerance. Everywhere I moved I was out of place, my identity and position in society and the world was constantly being questioned. But I think this gave me a great vantage point for a new perspective, to form my own opinions about things. I got to know people by how they showed me who they were, not by who the world told me they were.”
These experiences made Meg want to change the world. “I used to want to be the President,” she says smiling, “but then I realized I’m too soft.”
Instead, Meg found EF. At the time, she was living in Boston and working in a restaurant, trying to figure out her next career move after an internship with the U.S. Embassy to Brussels, Belgium. One of her regulars came in and asked her if she’d heard of EF.
“He said, ‘I know a great company for you, give me your resume,’” Meg explains. “He sent it in for me and I started researching EF—that’s when I got excited. I realized it was a perfect combination of my dad’s diplomacy and my mom’s teaching.”
Meg gets to see EF’s mission come to light as the Executive Assistant to the CEO of North America, where she works to provide executive efficiency by managing communication and providing support to the leadership team.
While some might feel nervous sitting and working so closely with the CEO, Meg actually feels quite at home. “Eddie [the CEO] is Swedish but he grew up all over the place, so I can relate to that,” Meg says. She’s comfortable being surrounded by the executive team—something she credits to growing up with a diplomat for a dad.
“Some people get intimidated by job titles or seniority,” Meg says, “but with my dad, we always had events where you were talking to people who were really important—presidents of other countries, senior ambassadors and secretaries of state. You quickly began to realize they had great influence but were still people like you and me—they just saw the world differently and acted on it.”
At EF, Meg says, the atmosphere among the leadership team is similar—each person is approachable and open to hearing new ideas. “It’s really cool to sit with the executive team and listen to them discuss how the company is being run, to have them ask for your opinion on things,” she explains.
In this way, Meg says her favorite part of her role is the opportunity, the chance to take an idea and run with it. “The possibility of something really cool coming up and grabbing it, taking charge—that’s awesome. It’s different every day.”
That could mean staying in the office tackling her to-do list or heading to France to help Canadian students traveling with EF Educational Tours celebrate the 100th anniversary of Vimy Ridge. “There aren’t a lot of jobs where you can say ‘I’ve traveled to the UN in New York, competed in Ninja Warrior, and been part of countless other events, all while growing, traveling, and shaping the world,” says Meg.
In every project she works on, Meg feels proud to know that she’s having a direct impact. “This company is just as much about people as it is about changing lives. I take joy in the little things I do that end up making a big difference.” At the Boston office’s annual holiday awards, staff are updated on all the projects EF’s worked on throughout the year—many of which Meg’s had a hand in. “Hearing Eddie talk about all of the things EF has accomplished, it feels great to know that I’ve been a part of that.”