July 13, 2016

EF Education First Helps Cultivate the Travel Bug

Cambridge is home to EF Education First, which is evolving the way people learn and experience the world. Providing experiential learning opportunities is what it thrives on. EF offers the chance to experience educational travel, both international and domestic, no matter your age. 

Ever wish you could speak numerous languages? EF can help you with that. It offers language classes at its accredited EF schools in the U.S., abroad, or online.

Academic opportunities expand well beyond languages, allowing you to obtain your high school, undergraduate, or graduate degree in the U.S. or UK. Whatever educational experience you are seeking, EF will help you navigate your options and create an unforgettable opportunity.

I recently caught up with Kate Berseth, Executive Vice President of EF Education First North America, to learn what it's like to be a member of the team.

EF is hiring! Check out its BIZZpage

Jill Gregoriou: For our readers who might not be familiar with EF, can you tell us about all of the programs you offer?

Kate Berseth: Our goal at EF is to “open the world through education” in innovative ways, mostly through creating experiential learning opportunities to disrupt and evolve the traditional education model.

While we have global presence, from a cultural perspective, we’re a privately-owned and family-run company that acts small and flexible. We live and breathe our strong entrepreneurial spirit.

JG: What types of projects does your team manage, being the only Hub in North America?

KB: Our North American business focuses on creating innovative, experiential learning opportunities grounded in travel. From educational tours for high school students to exchange programs to immersive adult travel, we offer life-changing experiences for explorers of all ages.

Technology fuels what we do. From individualized learning solutions to new approaches to travel logistics, our developers and creatives are working to build technology that enhances the way people learn and experience the world. We are doing some really cool things, but we’re just getting started. The team is growing quickly, and we’re always looking for great people to join us!

JG: Culture is what makes a company tick. What sets yours apart from other company cultures?

KB: Fast. Flat. Flexible. That’s how we work at EF.

We’re a privately-owned, family-run business, and our teams run themselves. We have a “nothing is impossible” mentality where we don’t hope things happen, we make things happen. Our culture is collaborative, quirky, and fun.

JG: What makes EF special to the 1K+ Cambridge employees? Do you offer any unique benefits or perks?

KB: You’ll find many of us enjoying a drink on the patio or competing in our weekly trivia nights after hours at our on-site restaurant and bar, Lingo. You’ll often see our staff together at a Sox game or a local concert, leveraging our discount ticket program.

We also live and breathe our mission around learning through experiences. Our employees travel at least once a year with our customers, and much of the time you’ll overhear a recent employee’s adventure abroad as you ride the elevator up to your desk in the morning.

Our celebrations are also epic. At our recent summer party, our staff competed in an EF Ninja Warrior obstacle course, with two of the four winning teams comprised of our dev group. Teams practiced for months leading up to the event. At EF, friendly competition is a big part of our culture.

JG: What are some activities employees take part in outside the office?

KB: The better question to ask here is what DON’T our employees take part in together outside the office? We engage in a running club, a basketball team, yoga in the park, camping trips, kayaking on the Charles, quirky costume parties, ski trips, “Collabatron” (aka: EF’s spin on hack-a- thons), giant capture the flag games in the summer, and more.

Eddie Hult, our CEO, teaches a circuit class after hours weekly for anyone who’s interested. In general, we enjoy each other’s company as much outside the office as in it.


Jill Gregoriou is the Customer Success Specialist at VentureFizz. Follow her on Twitter: @JillGregoriou

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