GoAbroad Interview

Carolyn Prebil - Marketing Director

Carolyn Prebil - Marketing Director

When not at work, Carolyn can be found training for a half marathon, hosting a dinner party, or Facetiming with her nephew. She is always planning her next travel adventure. Carolyn loves to market something meaningful, in this case, Global LEAD’s programs, and she enjoys following the student’s journeys.

You’re from Minnesota, how did you get connected to Global LEAD?

I grew up in Minneapolis and went to school at UW-Madison, so I am the only Midwesterner on the team! After college, I worked in real estate in Chicago for a year before deciding that cubicle life was not for me. So instead, I booked a one-way ticket to Sydney, Australia! I spent a year backpacking the East Coast of Australia with friends from college and had an incredible adventure - surfing, sailing, skydiving, and scuba. After the Australian adventure, I moved down to Atlanta and got connected to Global LEAD through a friend. I had coffee with our CEO, Robbie, and a few months later I joined as the Marketing Director!

Hiking on the Inca Trail in Peru

On the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

What does your day-to-day look like as Marketing Director?

The best part my job is that every day is different. One day I may be working on the strategic marketing plan for the next year, while the next I am speaking with interested students or creating unique Instagram content. I love that I get to work with everyone else on the Global LEAD team. Courtney and I collaborate on programming; Joanna, Pierce, and I work on marketing strategies, and everyone contributes to make us stronger!

Outside of marketing, you have an academic background in business and real estate. Are you able to apply this knowledge to your role in marketing Global LEAD programs in any way?

Definitely! My real estate job relied heavily on Excel, those shortcuts still come in handy!

You studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain while in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, how did this experience shape your interest in working in the field of international education? How did it impact your life?

I adored my semester in Barcelona. I actually studied abroad twice in college, both in Barcelona and in Oaxaca, Mexico. These experiences sparked my love of travel and led me to pursue a career in international education. I loved the adventurous spirit of studying abroad-- by day I was working to become fluent in Spanish, then it was off to salsa lessons and dinner at a hidden gem with new friends.

At the end of the day, I think that studying abroad is the best decision you can make in college. It is the perfect time in your life to explore new places, discover your passion, meet people from all over the globe, and ultimately expand your perspective.

Global LEAD staff members

Carolyn with the Director of Programming, Courtney Doran

How do your experiences abroad help you market Global LEAD’s programming?

I tell stories from my travels abroad all of the time! I also have had the opportunity to lead our experiences in Cape Town and Ecuador, so I get to experience the adventure and service right alongside our students. It’s incredible to be able to share these memories with future students.

Where are Global LEAD participants typically from?

We get to travel with students from all over the United States.

One of the common challenges faced by participants when undertaking a program abroad is coping with culture shock. How does Global LEAD prepare participants ahead of time and assist them in combating culture shock after they arrive?

Culture shock is a very real phenomena. We prepare our students with a pre-departure orientation and an in-person orientation on the first day. We also discuss their impressions in small group and one-on-one conversations. We have found that preparation and dialogue are the best ways to ensure a smooth transition to the local culture.

What sets Global LEAD’s programs apart from the rest?

Global LEAD is all about the people. We work with students on an individual basis and get to know them on a personal level. We love being able to help them select the right program, prepare for their trip abroad, and ensure that their experience is nothing short of life-changing. Another way that we are different is that studying abroad is just the beginning for our students. We keep in touch with our students for years to come and love following their journeys.

Study abroad students in Ecuador

Global LEAD Ecuador 2013 students at our Welcome Dinner

You’ve been with Global LEAD for almost four years, what are your goals for 2015?

For the upcoming year, we are really excited about expanding into Spain! I cannot wait to help build the foundation for our first program in Spain and share my love of the art, history, culture, food, and sights of Barcelona.

What is the most exciting thing about being a part of the Global LEAD team?

The potential! Our team is growing, and our locations are expanding.The world is a big place and we cannot wait to offer programs to every corner of it!