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July 2006 HR Magazine: International Experiences

HR Magazine, July 2006
July 2006
Vol. 51, No. 7

Great Communicators, Great Communication

International Experiences

By Ann Pomeroy
International travel company Grand Circle Corp. is very demanding, says worldwide training manager Marielle Arguello, but it offers unparalleled opportunities for personal and professional growth. For example, this year Arguello will celebrate her 10th anniversary with the company, which means she will receive five weeks of vacation. She also will get a two-month paid sabbatical, including a free trip for two. (She and her husband plan to visit India.)

Training sessions for leaders at Grand Circle include "Outward Bound"-type activities held at a company facility in New Hampshire. Small groups of leaders also travel to challenging locations and engage in activities such as sleeping in hillside caves in Turkey that are accessible only by ladder.

And on May 2, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former president of Poland Lech Walesa spoke to employees at the company's Boston headquarters. Walesa took questions from the audience during the company's regular monthly corporate meeting for all employees.

Walesa is an honorary board member of the Grand Circle Foundation, the company's philanthropic arm. The Foundation donated $100,000 to the Lech Walesa Institute to support Walesa's mission of establishing the first international school in Eastern Europe designed to foster the development of future world leaders.

In 2005, the foundation launched a "World Classroom" initiative that supports schools in every country in which Grand Circle arranges tours as part of its efforts to "give back to the world we travel."

Ann Pomeroy is senior writer for HR Magazine .

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