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Open to possibilities: Beth’s EF journey

Beth’s path to EF Education First began on the Esplanade in Cambridge, when she joined her sister for a lunchtime run with a potential client. Mark, her sister’s client, worked at EF and the three capped off their run meeting with lunch at Lingo, EF’s in-house cafe.

“We were sitting in Lingo and they were talking business,” Beth explained. “Mark turned to me and asked, ‘what do you do?’ I told him I was an accountant and thinking about moving back to Boston. I went back home, and within a half a day, I received an email from him asking for my resume”.

At the time of her visit, Beth was living in Chicago and working for a large private company. She was thinking about a change, but wasn’t actively pursuing it… yet. As her conversations with Mark continued, she quickly found that EF had exactly what she wanted: an environment that fostered collaboration and the opportunity to mentor a team. “I wanted to have an impact on others,” Beth said.

Soon after that serendipitous meeting, Beth accepted a role as an Accounting Manager with EF in our Boston office. “I was immediately blown away by the aesthetics of the building, and what I could see of the culture—like people running at lunch. Instantly, I thought to myself, ‘I would love to work here.’”

Beth’s team provides internal customer service for a number of EF products within the U.S. They work directly with budget owners and address staff questions about finance and expenses. It’s in this role that she’s able to mentor her team and encourage their growth in providing financial services for the rest of the building.

“Everyone is pitching in to help each other and meeting demands together, based on the volume of what we need to get done,” Beth said. “We chip in together as a team—we help out in areas that might not be related to our direct role. This allows everyone an awesome opportunity to get exposure to other areas of the business.”

The team recently identified the need to improve employees’ expense reimbursement and reporting so it would be a smoother, more efficient process. Beth says her “super driven, ambitious” team was ready for the challenge and had no shortage of ideas.

“My manager has always done an awesome job of asking us, ‘how do we improve things?’” Beth said. “I try to encourage the same thing with my team by asking people to bring great ideas. One idea, for example, can lead to something that can impact all of us, and ideally these great resources can be shared across the organization and with other products.”

Beth’s team did just that, and as a result, they were able to make widespread improvements that benefited both staff and their own finance team. “It’s been incredibly interesting to watch the team develop, working through situations and figuring out the best methods so we can implement them and share them with other parts of the business,” Beth said.

And while Beth’s focus is now on accounting, she hasn’t lost touch with her original EF ally. Since that first encounter with Mark, Beth has continued to work with and learn from him. An accomplished tri-athlete and champion of EF’s Running Club, Mark was both coach and friend during Beth’s preparation for her first half IronMan.

“I actually didn’t know how to swim freestyle when I started, but Mark coached me through improving my lap times! To overcome something like that makes me feel like I can do anything.”

Beth credits her growth at EF—and the success of her team—with the many opportunities available, including the ability to build relationships across the company, like her friendship with Mark. “EF facilitates growth if you’re willing to look for it. All you have to do is be open to the possibilities down the road.”

Interested in opening the world with us? Visit careers.ef.com

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