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Running a business within a business: Luke’s EF journey

Luke got his first taste for sales working a paper route at 13 years old. He saw a demand in his community and set out to exceed that demand, iterating on traditional newspaper delivery and bringing his community together by hosting newspaper pick-ups with coffee and doughnuts. From there, he became an entrepreneur, moving from working in retail shops to helping start snowboard, wakeboard and mountain bike companies.

Now, Luke has grown multiple brands and managed many different teams, all with adventure, travel and community acting as the common threads through his professional experiences. Choosing to transition from being a business owner to working at EF Education First as a Director of Sales for EF Educational Tours was easier than one might expect considering Luke feels like he’s running his own business within a larger business here at EF.

“We make our own independent decisions as directors,” he says. “We’re held to results ­– but how we get there is entirely up to us.”

We sat down with Luke to learn more about his day-to-day and what makes him passionate about sales.

Tell us about your role.

I partner with talented tour consultants to help open the world through education. More specifically in the Director of Sales role I come to work every day to support the team, establish focus and execute to get results.

What has been your favorite EF moment since working here?

It was in Normandy, France during the 75th anniversary of D-Day. I was kneeling in the light rain near Utah Beach holding the hand of a 93-year-old World War II veteran who’s in a wheelchair. I was listening to his stories when he stopped, looked me in the eyes and thanked me and EF for bringing students here. That was pretty powerful.

What’s the best part of your job?

That is a tough one as I truly love so many aspects of the role. I enjoy and appreciate the amount of time and resources we’re able to dedicate to developing the leaders of the future through employee development. It’s also very rewarding to be able to provide the opportunity for educators, students and parents to travel outside the United States for the first time. Connecting with those individuals and listening to their stories is incredibly impactful for me and I love it.

How has working at EF changed you?

Being at EF has expanded how much I feel we can influence through educational travel. The amount of potential that still exists to grow our business and change the world for the better drives me as an individual.

What does a typical day look for you?

I think it varies seasonally. Most of our tours do run in the spring and summer, so in the fall it’s really a fun time – it’s just pure sales and employee development. There’s always a buzz on the floor in terms of the energy being created and how all these individual business owners (because that’s how we treat them as tour consultants) are finding strategies to reach their goals. Partnering with them on this journey is a really exciting time. There’s a lot of mentoring that goes into the role that I enjoy quite a bit.

What’s your take on the professional development opportunities here at EF?

I feel that we spend more time and resources on that than any other company I’ve ever worked for. Whether it’s at the director level or the tour consultant level, we all have access to vast opportunities to improve ourselves professionally. And if there’s an opportunity I’m interested in that isn’t being offered, it’s a quick conversation to vet it and then pursue that opportunity. The amount of opportunities at our disposal to improve ourselves and our team is unmatched.

Tell us what a successful day looks like for you.

It really comes down to those a-ha moments I have with our staff and our customers. With my team it’s having someone present an actionable break-through strategy they developed for their business. That’s super satisfying. Also, expanding our reach in the market is energizing for me as a salesperson. Being able to launch a travel program in a new school or growing our reach into existing schools through our product portfolio are both things that are very rewarding.
Interested in opening the world with us? Visit careers.ef.com

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