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Home  > Insider profile
Karina Robinson
Regional Sales Director, EF Educational Tours

"I go to Europe about twice a year for business. About 10 days per trip. On top of salary, I get bonus points for sales and can use those for travel."

As children, we're all asked the question "What do you want to be when you grow up?" How did you answer?

I wanted to travel.

What have been the most defining moments along your career path?

I wanted to do something international, so it seemed like a tour company focusing in educational tours would be a great place to start an international career. I made a great decision.

How did you get your big breaks?

I traveled for a month and a half after graduation. I took a 3 month class in travel and tourism at Garber Travel and I was hired by EF Education Tours. I started in Sales as a tour consultant selling to teachers. It was an entry level position. My duties differed depending on what time of day. I would get a list of leads, call leads (teachers) to try and get them to take classes to travel. I would try to recruit teachers, and then the teachers recruited the students. You are calling people who have already expressed an interest. No cold calling. It was very detail-oriented work. Luckily, it was a pretty easy product to sell. Teachers are allowed to go free if they recruit a certain number of students. I was a tour consultant for 3 years and now I direct a team of 6.

What was the best advice you received when you were first starting out in your career?

When talking to customers, share your own experiences. You're selling yourself, not just the product you represent. Adding your own experiences into the conversation can help make a sale.

What have you learned from your experience?

We hire people right out of school. The typical age is 22-27. Someone who has done a lot of traveling, studied abroad or lived abroad, can speak other languages is ideal for this field. You don't need sales experience, enthusiasm is the main requirement. The only people who don't like it, are people who don't like to sit at a desk all day.

What most excites you about your job right now?

I go to Europe about twice a year for business. About 10 days per trip. On top of salary, I get bonus points for sales and can use those for travel. Recently, I did a tour in Ireland/Scotland. Sales wants you to do one tour a year to see what it's like; the transportation, hotels, etc. Each sales person (Tour consultant) does this once a year. I can do other trips sometimes, too like attend teacher conferences, tour director trainings, etc. The people, environment, the perks are all excellent. I really enjoy the job itself. The product is one I believe in, so it's an easy sell.

What would you like to have achieved by the last day of your career?

At some point, I would be interested in working abroad.

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