Kaitlyn and Gracie have known each other their entire lives—literally. As cousins born just six months apart, they grew up next door to each other during summer vacations in Cape Cod. Gracie moved to Boston after college to accept a role as a Tour Consultant with EF Educational Tours, which helps teachers bring their students on trips abroad. When Kaitlyn was looking for a new role in PR, she saw a job posting for EF Education First and recognized it as the place Gracie was always talking about. Gracie referred Kaitlyn to EF, and the two are now as inseparable today as they were growing up. We caught up with Gracie to find out how she knew her cousin belonged at EF.
Q: How did you know Kaitlyn was the perfect fit for EF?
A: Kaitlyn and I are close not only because we’re cousins, we’re genuinely best friends. We both waitressed in the summer in high school and college and always swapped stories about memorable customers or how we got creative in problem solving. I guarantee her customers never saw her sweat. She embodied the same kind of attitude that she’s brought to EF—there’s always a solution, nothing a little elbow grease and creativity can’t solve.
Q: What is your best EF memory or moment with Kaitlyn?
A: One night it started to downpour right around the time that we would normally leave work. Kaitlyn texted me asking to meet at Lingo, the restaurant and bar in our office lobby, to wait out the rain. Next thing we knew, it was 10pm. We didn’t even notice it had stopped raining shortly after we sat down! We never run out of things to talk about, even though we see each other on a daily basis.
Q: What EF core value does Kaitlyn display most?
A: Kaitlyn’s “nothing is impossible” attitude that I saw when we were sixteen years old is still there ten years later. One of the first tasks Kaitlyn was given when she started working at EF was handling press for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in France—about a week after she arrived. Kaitlyn went a few days early to first staff an event in London and then traveled to France to connect with reporters who would cover what EF was doing at Vimy. She ended up driving a rental car around France with a reporter in tow, never blinking an eye!
Q: How does Kaitlyn make EF a better place to work?
A: Anyone that has met Kaitlyn knows how infectious her positive attitude and personality is. She genuinely brightens up a room and brings such creativity and fun to her job. On a personal level, Kaitlyn and I have really enjoyed having a “buddy” at work who sits outside our daily role. We’ve learned so much about EF through each other, as we both see EF from different perspectives, and we’ve even been able to collaborate on a few projects together.
Q: What do you love most about working at EF?
A: I’ve been working at EF for four years and I can confidently say that no two days are the same. Not only in my development where my job in my first year has a different feel than it does in my fourth year, but my days are filled with running trainings for other Tour Consultants, helping develop tour products, traveling to Georgia to meet the teachers I work with, and helping shape the development for other Tour Consultants.
If I had to pick, my favorite part about my job is working with my teachers. I’ve been working with the same school districts for a while and have been able to see these amazing travel programs grow and give other students the opportunity that I was able to have in high school when I traveled to Greece with EF.
Q: What’s a key piece of advice you would give to a new EFer?
A: I would say that caring about your brand is the most important—both inside the office and outside to your customers. If you’re known as a genuinely hard-working person, who cares about your role, is positive and in general just fun to be around, you’re going to be proud of the work that you’re able to produce, and that’s what people will remember you for.