Bob is a Tour Consultant at EF Educational Tours. Before he came to EF, he taught English in Thailand and traveled extensively throughout Southeast Asia. He enjoys good food, good music and good company.
Courtney is on Team New England and is the Tour Consultant for teachers in Metro Boston. In this segment of “Bob’s Buddies,” Courtney compares the East Coast with the West Coast and even tells us about how one time she was paid to dress up in a Banana suit for a summer.
B. So you’re from California originally, right? A Cali girl?
C. This is true.
B. Nice, did you grow up there?
C. I did, born and raised in Bakersfield – I lived in Southern California most of my life.
B. Is Bakersfield Southern California?
C. Well actually like to say the Central Valley…
B. Nice. I always picture California to be like roller blades, palm trees and beach volley ball…how far off am I?
C. Honestly you are pretty spot on. I would say beach volleyball is definitely huge there. I used to play on a beach volleyball team. Just for fun, nothing super competitive.
B. So you probably spent a lot of time on the beach?
C. Yea, I used to live about a block from the ocean.
B. What’s your favorite beach activity?
C. Favorite beach activity? Honestly, this is going to make me sound lame, but I really love reading, just bringing my lunch and camping out. Or even after work a lot of the time I used to take my dinner to the beach and read and listen to music.
B. What kind of books do you like to read?
C. So I do this weird thing where I trade off my reading selection, from easy and fun no brainer kind of reads to then something that is a bit more stimulating. Maybe something I am more interested in, or that is more controversial so that way I feel like I am hitting both ends of the spectrum.
B. Cool. Have you read anything that I should read?
C. Hmm I don’t know if you would like it, but I just started a new book called The Assistants.
B. What is that about?
C. So it is about a 30 year old personal assistant to this billionaire guy who lives in NYC and basically she is scheming with another personal assistant to steal money from this guy….side note I used to be a personal assistant for a multimillionaire so I find it really interesting.
B. Is it a fiction story?
B. That’s crazy, so you are just picturing, “oh what if this happened…?”
C. Like literally, the things that she is talking about, I feel like I experienced in terms of her responsibilities, her every day struggles etc. so I feel like it is super relatable and I think that is why I am interested in it.
B. Wow that is interesting. Is it like a murder mystery kind of thing?
C. No, no. It more of an embezzlement kind of thing. It all started out with the main character just wanting a little bit of money to pay off her loans.
B. Woah that’s crazy
C. Gnarly, huh?
B. Yea, pretty gnarly… Is gnarly a California word you brought to the East Coast?
C. Yea, but definitely a Southern Cali word…in the North they don’t say it.
C. I’ve been teaching my team about gnarly and I think it is getting picked up pretty easily.
B. Do you have any other Cali words that you have brought over to your New England teammates?
C. So I don’t think these are like Cali words….but more so just in my vocabulary.
B. So, Courtney words…
C. Yea! Courtney words… I would say “obsessed”is one. I definitely overuse it, but I don’t care. “Bizarre.” And then the term that my team would associate with me most is “sweet angel.”
B. Sweet angel?
B. So people are sweet angels?
C. Yea exactly, but you can’t throw it around loosely.
B. So you can’t overuse the sweet angel team?
C. No, Never. Because it’s like super cool to be told you’re a sweet angel. It’s a huge compliment.
B. So, I did a little research before because I don’t know much about California, and I found out that California is known for growing fruit…most of what we get on the east coast is from California. So if you would be one fruit what would you be and why?
C. Oh that’s a good question. So for sure I would be a mango.
B. Mangoes are fantastic. Why would you be a mango?
C. So I am into the coloring of them. Like the inside is yellow but the outside is reddish or greenish color. And they taste awesome! Very refreshing.
B. Mangoes a great choice. Question: if we are taking you as a fruit…so a Mango, and we are going to blend you into a smoothie…what kind of other fruits would be invited to join you in the smoothie?
C. Definitely bananas. Actually, fun fact my first job I worked at was at Jamba Juice!
B. Oh cool!
C. I used to make smoothies. And on my first day they made me dress up in a banana custom and pass out free samples.
B. So you passed out smoothie samples in a banana suit…
C. Yea…in a banana suit. I for sure have a photo I have to find it.
B. I would love to see that. I dressed up as a banana my senior year of high school.
C. I knew we were destined to be friends.
B. What are some of the things you miss about west coast lifestyle?
C. Well, I definitely think I took for granted the laid back, relaxed attitude that most people have.
It’s super casual out west. When my parents actually came to visit a few weeks ago my dad made a comment about how he couldn’t believe that everyone was wearing blazers and polo’s. That’s just not what we are used to.
C. So, I definitely miss just the slower relaxed pace of life that is just evident in SoCal.
B. As an outsider coming to the east coast, how is Boston treating you?
C. I am obsessed. I really like Boston. Before I moved here I didn’t realize that the city itself has such a strong sense of community.
B. Yea it definitely does. What do you do during your free time?
C. I like to run, so I am either out running, or I played soccer in college so I recently joined an indoor soccer league in South Boston. I also recently have taken up kickball.
B. Oh how is your team doing?!
C. Hahah, you know…it is more for the social aspect. I am not really one to go home and watch TV, I’d rather be out meeting people and walking around, so I like it for that aspect.
B. So what about Collabatron…we need to chat about that because that’s where you and I both officially met I think. So you and I both know what collabatron is, but pretend I don’t know…how would you describe it?
C. So Collabatron (and you can correct me if I am wrong) is where basically everyone gets together across departments to collaborate for 36 hours. If you have a crazy idea that you want to see happen, you can come together with a group of people and try and create a business plan to ultimately pitch at the end of the 36 hours. So as a group you try to address things like, what value does it have to the company, why do we need this and what pain point is it addressing? Is that right?
B. Yea that is a really good description, actually. What was your favorite part of that? Because we were on the same team I should make clear.
C. You know, this happened when I first started working at EF and I was really encouraged by how smart and incredible everyone’s ideas were. I would say that my favorite part was to see a challenge and overcome it all while working with people you didn’t originally know well at all. At the end of it I felt like everyone was able to learn so much about each other and also learn more about how they worked in a team environment.
B. Totally it is a cool way to meet other people especially given that our office is so big.
B. Awesome ok, so you are pretty well traveled right? Before this you were working in Brussels, I was told?
C. Yea, I was an event planner at a hotel in Brussels that was right next to the parliament, so we would organize a bunch of big events.
B. So I bet you met a ton of people in all of your travels right?
C. Yea definitely.
B. So I guess this could be a good way to end this interview: name a person you have met during your travels who is someone that you look up to and why?
C. Oh wow that is a powerful question. I had a one professor (right before Brussels I was in grad school in Switzerland) and he was super well-traveled. Before I started the program he gave me a piece of advice that has really stuck with me. He said, “Do and see and interact with as many people as you can because it will change your perspective.” I think that’s a big reason why I am at EF today, because there are so many people and so many cultures to interact with on a daily basis.
B. Wow he sounds like a good person to meet.
B. Well thanks for doing this!
Would you like to chat with a Tour Consultant, like Courtney? Contact us today and start planning your educational tour!