MBA student Kristin Hall ’17 is a world traveler and certified tour director who looks forward to using her graduate business degree to capitalize on her international experiences.
“An MBA will help me understand how to do business abroad and gain exposure to career options involving tourism and travel,” says the Longwood, Florida, native who also is earning a master’s degree in global policy from the University of Maine School of Policy and International Affairs.
As an undergraduate, she attended University of Central Florida, where she earned a degree in business and minor in international business. At UCF, she spent a semester at the ICN Business School in Nancy, France. When she returned, she co-founded GlobaLink, a student organization that aims to help UCF’s international students integrate into the community.
After graduating in 2011, she continued to indulge her love of travel, visiting more than 20 countries, including Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Germany, Finland, Norway, Greece, Ireland and the Netherlands.
“I have had amazing adventures and made friends from all over the world,” she says. “In Spain, I hiked the Camino De Santiago, a 500-mile walking trail; and in Mexico, I summited Pico de Orizaba — the third tallest peak in North America at 18,500 feet.
“During my travels, I found couch-surfing a great way to meet people. I stayed with a couple in Rijeka, Croatia, who took me to places you’ll never read about in a guide book. I was treated to incredible views from nearby peaks and to an evening in an underground Cuban bar where we danced salsa. They invited their friends over, and we spent the evening making dinner and sharing stories.”
In 2013, aiming to combine her passion for travel with a full-time job, she became a certified tour director through the International Tour Management Institute in San Francisco, California. Her first job was with the travel firm Collette, where she specialized in tours in France, Cuba, England, California and Washington, D.C.
Now an independent tour director, she spends her university breaks leading excursions for companies including WorldStrides and Trafalgar.
“I love being a tour director,” she says. “I enjoy meeting new people from all over the world and providing entertaining and informative stories as I share the culture and history of a city or country that I learned about through experience and study. I also like the challenges of having to think on my feet and deal with a range of personalities. In the travel/tourism industry, we call tour directing ‘project management on wheels,’ and I have certainly been able to hone my planning, executing, organizational and communication skills. These abilities will serve me well no matter what career I choose.”
Hall has used her travels to gain valuable skills and work for causes she cares about. During a recent trip to Peru, she worked with SKIP (Supporting Kids in Peru) in a small village outside Trujillo, teaching English to children and helping business owners obtain loans. While visiting Finland a couple years ago, she volunteered with AIESEC, an organization that facilitates student internships with businesses, helping to create entrepreneurial, global-minded leaders.
“MBS offers wonderful opportunities including small classes, flexible online courses and the opportunity to participate in an international trip,” she says. “I love the business school tagline, ‘Expect the World.’ It fits perfectly with my motto to never stop exploring and my goal to see as much of this big, beautiful world as possible.”
Kristin Hall, MBA ’17
She decided to attend MBS after a chance meeting with professor Nory Jones at a Maine Troop Greeters event at Bangor International Airport.
Now in her second year in the MBA program, she serves as a graduate assistant and as president of GBA/NAWMBA (Graduate Business Association/National Association for Women MBAs).
Written By Ruth-Ellen Cohen, Writer for the Maine Business School.