STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: How the Feeling of Defeat Transformed Into Hope and Eventually a Career with Becca Yount
Meet Becca! She joined GPI in the Spring of 2018 and is currently the Senior Program Advisor for IES Abroad, College Relations & Advising. Curious in how she got here? Check out her story!
What do you do in your role?
I advise college students who plan to attend one of our study abroad programs in everything from academics to health and safety to visas. My portfolio has included 10+ cities over the years. I also help hire and train new advisors and other new hires.
What were you doing before you joined GPI and how did you become interested in global education as a career?
After hosting German exchange students in high school, studying abroad twice and working with both international and study abroad students in college, I knew the field of International Education was where I wanted to be. Before GPI, I was a recent college grad who had spent a year working at Disney World before getting a part time job back home at a local museum.
How did you discover Inside Study Abroad and the Global Pro Institute?
I honestly don’t remember, but it must have been fate!
What inspired you to enroll in the Global Pro Institute?
I had been applying for jobs for months and getting nowhere, so I thought, “I need to invest in myself if I want this to work.”, so I did!
How has the program helped you to launch or grow your career in international education and meaningful travel?
It helped me be an applicant that stood out. I didn’t know how to spotlight my experience or write a good cover letter, but this program truly gave me tools that I’ve passed on to friends and colleagues countless times!
What has been your biggest setback, and how did you overcome it?
My biggest setback was probably my initial job search! It’s so hard to do something unsuccessfully for months, and find the will to not only keep doing it, but doing it well. GPI gave me the new boost of energy I needed to keep on keeping on, and it worked!
What’s your best piece of advice for others trying to launch and grow a career in IE?
Don’t give up. Network, apply for things that interest you, find ways to make your experience relevant.
Looking back on your international ed career journey, what is something you’re most proud of?
The pandemic has been really hard, and my workload has increased due to cutbacks. Staying focused and remaining good at what I do has been hard in the last year, but as things start to look better, I’m proud just to have made it to the other side.
What’s your favorite tool or international education resource that you recommend to others? Why do you love it?
This feels like a silly answer, but Slack, the chat app, has allowed me to communicate with my colleagues abroad in a much easier, more fun way, and I’ve loved the opportunity to do so.
What is one of your favorite non-fiction books that you would recommend to other professionals and why do you love it?
I’m not much of a professional reader, but Rick Steve’s Travel as a Political Act was something I read for fun that feels very professionally relevant. It can be easy to get stuck in our own perspective but no matter where you work in IE, it’s so important to remember what your students or colleagues or hosts or anyone else from anywhere else is thinking.
3 Secrets To Build Your Study Abroad & Global Education Career...
Watch our free workshop on launching and leveling-up your career in global programs - and learn how I went from intern to executive in just 4 years!