How has my sports history impacted my professional story? | WorldStrides Sports Travel

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We asked members of the WorldStrides Sports team to share their thoughts on how their background in sports has influenced their careers.

“There’s so much to say about this for me. You know, growing up in Scotland, playing for teams, moving my way up through the ranks, the locker room made a big impact on me. It became a microcosm of life itself. Playing soccer, and the rollercoaster it can be – the ups, the downs, the wins, the losses, the injuries, cuts, tryouts, great coaches, bad coaches, managers, captains, lessons learned everywhere you turn. I represented the youth schoolboy national team, traveled all over Europe from 14-15 years old, learning incredible life lessons along the way, everywhere I went. And the memories I have – priceless. I remember playing in the U16 European youth championship. We beat Holland in the quarterfinals, beat France, the host country in the semis, lost 0-1 to Russia in the finals. So many great players gathered there that went on to do such great things in the sport. My youth club in Scotland was the same club as David Moyes, Sir Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith, Andy Gray, John Wark and Archie Gemmill. That means a lot to me. That’s the kind of club I’m proud to belong to, and it drives me to represent it for the rest of my life.”
Eric McAleer, SVP

“In sports, I learned how to communicate, be a teammate, apply my naturally competitive nature, be aggressive/ambitious, fight hard, play my position but adjust should the need arise, be adaptable, learn from losing, beat competition, and hydrate.”
Nikiah Dulac, Account Executive

“Participating in sports growing up provided me the opportunity to develop many key skills that I could carry over to my professional career. The best examples of these are the leadership skills, teamwork, and a strong work ethic I gained from playing sports. These attributes are what I believe have allowed me to grow my career to the place it is today.”
Carlie Smythe, Account Manager

“I came to the United States as a young 18 year old to play college soccer in Missouri at Truman State University, located in a rural town called Kirksville. It was a town with a typical midwestern square, with the courthouse in the middle, and stores all around it. There was one main road through the outside of town, usually filled with massive trucks and lined with fast food establishments from start to finish. I didn’t know anyone and we started pre-season in 110 degree weather. Over the next few years of playing and coaching in the college space, I was fortunate to travel around the country to places like Florida, Texas, Colorado, as well as visit too many small towns in the Midwest for games. When I started in my professional career with WorldStrides, I always thought back to the rush I got from coming here to play then being able to travel to various different states to play and coach. There’s some exhilarating about traveling for a game and experiencing new stadiums and environments. Of course, that feeling was taken to a new height when you won! However, I always appreciated being able to visit new places and experience a new culture. Now, I get the same buzz from being able to provide that opportunity to student-athletes, coaches, and families. Being able to travel on-tour with these groups and to see them take in a Premier League stadium, the Eiffel Tower, or Buckingham Palace doesn’t give you the same feeling of winning a game on the road but it always reminds me how fortunate we all are to be able to do what we do. Having experienced a lot of travel as I grew up, it is extremely rewarding to be able to help people experience the same thing and get them to want to do it as soon as they return! With COVID-19 changing our world, I feel even more fortunate to have this opportunity and I know we will all provide our players and teams with an even better experience as we come out of these strange times.”
Jonny Brown, Business Development Specialist

“When I was in 6th grade I had the opportunity to travel abroad to Liverpool and London, England with my soccer team. For many of us it was our first time traveling internationally, myself included. Being able to spend a week abroad with your best friends in a foreign country was an amazing experience and is a memory that I will forever cherish. Traveling abroad not only shaped me into a different soccer player but it also opened up my eyes to a completely different culture. It truly changed my life. When my old teammates and I get together it’s something that we always talk about to this day. We created so many lifelong memories together! My 6th grade England trip has come full circle as I now have the opportunity to help others create a once in a lifetime experience when they travel with us.”
Morgan O’Donnell, Senior Account Manager

“I had the privilege of playing lacrosse in college and I was lucky to be submerged into a culture driven by passion for the game and fighting to reach a common goal before I even stepped on campus. I instantly had 30 new best friends. When I graduated, I longed to find a similar atmosphere in a workplace. WorldStrides Sports is a team full of winners, all striving to be the best in our space. We get to go to work every day and compete. Organizing international trips that are life changing to young athletes is so rewarding. When you love what you do, it makes a world of difference.”
Ashley Herbst, Manager of Account Management