Kate and Eileen met—where else?—at EF Education First in Boston. As Tour Consultants for EF Educational Tours, Kate and Eileen were desk neighbors who gradually developed a friendship while helping teachers bring high school students on educational trips abroad.
The pair temporarily pursued different paths when Eileen transferred to EF’s Toronto office and Kate left EF for a recruitment opportunity in New York City. Through every move and life change, the two kept in touch. Eileen eventually moved back to Boston to become EF’s Director of Travel Operations. After a referral from Eileen, Kate, who had also moved back to Boston, accepted a new role managing Employee Relations on the Benefits team.
We caught up with Eileen to find out how she knew it was the right time to bring Kate back to EF.
How did you know it was time for Kate to come back to EF?
Kate and I talked about EF a lot during her hiatus, since it was such a big part of my life, and we talked about how she would be open to come back for the right role. I knew the Employee Relations Specialist role was the right one for her because she was already doing this role for me by listening to me talk about my challenges and giving me advice. I thought being able to apply what she had learned in her other roles with an EF lens would be a great asset for the company.
What is your best EF memory or moment with Kate?
Kate and I traveled on a staff educational trip to New Zealand together last year. The trip was amazing—we rode in a helicopter that landed on a glacier! We finished each day with a glass of New Zealand wine to appreciate where we were.
What EF core value does Kate display most?
Entrepreneurial Spirit. Book smarts and a willingness to roll up your sleeves is Kate. She’s incredibly knowledgeable and an amazing resource for EFers. At the same time, she is all about taking action and making things happen in her role. The amount of ownership she takes for what comes across her desk—regardless of whether or not it’s part of her role—is really impressive.
How does Kate make EF a better place to work?
The same attributes that make Kate a great friend are what make EF better. Kate manages a lot of difficult situations and challenging conversations with compassion, understanding, and a unique ability to normalize whatever you are going through; she helps you approach it with a clear perspective and a plan to move forward. I’m super lucky to get her advice and support in my professional as well as my personal life!
What’s your favorite thing about working at EF?
My favorite thing about working at EF has been the opportunities. At each point in my career where I felt like I needed something more or something different, there has been an opportunity to fulfill that.
What’s a key piece of advice you would give to a new EFer?
My advice is to be present in your current role, learn as much as possible from it, and contribute as much as you can to it. At EF, approaching your work and your interactions as opportunities to showcase your talents is the best thing you can do to set yourself up for a new opportunity.