For the past 3 months I have been working as the Graphic Design & Youth Culture Intern in the Marketing Department at the Toronto headquarters of I Love Travel. When I was applying to different companies for an internship position, I had a few expectations of what I wanted in the role and from the company. I knew I wanted to challenge myself in a graphic design position, work within a company that had a great environment and a corporate culture that fit my personality and would let me learn as much as possible. I had heard of several brands within the I Love Travel family through word of mouth and from going on SnowJam in 2014. I always thought about how awesome it must be to have a job where the main purpose is to help provide student travelers with incredible travel experiences. My desire to become an intern was confirmed after looking at the I Love Travel website and the #JobofaLifetime Instagram page. What struck me the most were the bold letters on the website that read “Friends First and Co-Workers Second”! From reading about the company and looking through group photos, it truly seemed like people enjoyed their jobs and liked their co-workers!
From events like 'All Hands' (Monthly meetings with the entire company) and 'Bring the Fun O’Clock' (Beer and pizza parties after work), to theme days and Academies (Conferences held 3 times a year), there are so many activities and events that not only promote team/skill building, but also bring co-workers together to create friendships and lasting memories. It’s quite similar to how our travelers develop memories and create closer friendships during their group travel experiences.
I was fortunate to experience another side of this “Friends First Co-Workers Second” feeling when I travelled to Punta Cana this past March as a Trip Leader for S-Trip!. Being on destination allowed me see a whole other side to the company and how everyone’s hard work in the office comes together to bring these trips to life! As soon as you meet the other staff you’ll be working with, in almost no time it seems as though you’ve known each other for way longer than a week. Working together on these types of trips makes people bond quickly. When I returned from staffing on destination it was nice to see people back at the office who I had spent the previous week with and who I can now not only call co-workers, but also friends.
It’s amazing to find a place to work such that when you wake up in the morning, you look forward to going into the office. Working here has not only opened my eyes to possible career options, but it has confirmed for me how important it is to find a company where I want to be working rather than just finding a job because I need to work. I understand that it’s not always easy to find both, but it's nice to know places like that actually do exist!