Name: Natalie Kim
Location: Toronto, Canada
Go Global Expos Attended: Montreal 2015, Toronto 2017, Montreal 2017
Natalie Kim attended her first Go Global Expo in 2015 in Montreal as a Campus Representative for Verge Magazine. Natalie’s timeline then took her to Barbados through McGill’s Field Study program in 2016. After graduating with her Bachelor of Arts, she jumped right back into the arms of Verge Magazine and the Go Global Expo in 2017 as Events Marketing Assistant! These days, Natalie works as a Travel Coordinator for Butterfield and Robinson, and credits the Go Global Expo for her continued work in the travel industry. We sat down with Natalie to ask her about what she’s up to now, and what she learned from participating in three Go Global Expos.
What did you enjoy about being a Campus Rep at your first Go Global Expo in 2015?
I had a lot of opportunities to connect with my peers through this great mutual interest that we had, and I learned a lot about the travel industry and working in the travel industry, the different people that were a part of it, the different organizations, and all of the ways that you could travel.
I was in a position where I knew I loved to travel, and in the years following I realized what I loved the most about travelling was really doing something in those places, and contributing to and learning from the people that were there. I think what Go Global does is it makes a real effort to connect travellers to the communities that they’re travelling to. It’s a lot about people and not strictly about place, and I think that’s really important.
As a Campus Rep, I learned a lot about representing a business and helping that business to grow - speaking to people, and developing skills like customer service, interaction. When it came to the event, I gained experience taking instructions, managing those instructions and following through. I really hadn’t had that experience in a true professional environment before Go Global.
Tell us about the international experience you the 2015 Go Global Expo.
In 2016 I travelled with my school, McGill University. I went to Barbados for four months, studying urban planning and engineering, and also participating in an internship with the United Nations Development Programme. Obviously, that was an incredible experience. I learned so much and I had so much fun, and made lifelong connections. I recently revisited the organizations that I helped through the U.N. and got a feel for the impact that I made there, which was actually real and significant.
How did you come full circle, back to Go Global and Verge Magazine in 2017?
I was finishing up school and looking for the right thing at the right time, and I happened back with Go Global and Verge. I came on as an Events Marketing Assistant for the 2017 Go Global season. I worked again connecting with people who had a mutual interest in travel, this time in my hometown of Toronto, and I saw a bunch of different schools, student groups, and communities in Toronto that were really connected and excited and motivated. That was really encouraging for me. I had a great experience in the 2017 season that brought me all the way to the Go Global event itself, through which I met a lot of people working in the travel industry and a lot of people making an impact in the travel industry. It was a huge professional step for me - it got me into the travel industry, it got me working. I was figuring things out on the spot, making decisions and ultimately doing something really purposeful.
Have you always wanted to work in the travel industry?
I always loved travel, that was never a question. I was not expecting to work in travel until late in my university career. I am passionate about place and architecture, culture and people - and these are all things that are at the heart of the travel industry. Being a part of it now is enriching and meaningful and it is definitely leading to the next thing.
What impact did the Go Global Expos have on you?
I definitely think that Go Global impacted my life directly and indirectly. I wouldn’t be working in the travel industry if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be where I am at professionally if it weren’t for them. Obviously, every event I went to and all the work I did with the Go Global Expo revived that excitement, motivation, and passion for travel. I wouldn’t be working in the field I’m working in, I wouldn’t be at the career stage that I am in now, I wouldn’t have the project management skills and the customer service skills and the problem-solving skills.