Where are they now? API alumni profile of Christina Miele.

We at API feel very fortunate to be able to touch so many lives through our international programs, but often we find ourselves wondering – where are they now? In this edition of the API alumni profile series we’ll, be speaking with former API Florence student Christina Miele (spring 2007) about how studying abroad influenced her personal and professional development.

(API) How did your study abroad experience influence your career path and contribute to your current sucess?

(CM) My study abroad experience influenced my career path a LOT! My study abroad semester in Florence was my first trip out of the country, and after that I knew it had created a serious travel bug. When I started looking for internships the next summer, I focused my search on travel companies in Boston – I thought if I couldn’t be traveling all the time, at least I could be working with a travel product every day. I ended up at EF Education that summer, and returned for a full-time position after I graduated from Quinnipiac University. Although I spent a few years in a non-travel industry in between, I came back to travel last year for a position with FlipKey – a TripAdvisor company.

View from the top of Duomo in Florence

View from the top of Duomo in Florence

(API) What is it like working for one of the biggest travel sites on the web?

(CM) It’s fun! We have a great team and get to work on some exciting projects. For example, we’ve recently created on-the-ground, virtual tours of some our most popular destinations like Lake Tahoe, Miami, Austin, etc. It’s fun to be involved in researching all the popular landmarks and points of interest to feature – you get to revisit some of your favorite places, and also learn more about some new ones. The only problem is that you want to jet off to one of those destinations every day!

Campo dei Fiori_ API orientation in Rome

Campo dei Fiori_ API orientation in Rome

(API) Why did you want to become an API Peer Mentor? What did you take from that experience?

(CM) For the same reason as I pursued a career in travel – I wanted to stay connected to the experience and hopefully encourage others to get out there and do the same. API made my study abroad semester the best I could ask for – from an incredible staff both in the US and in Florence, to some amazing trips around Italy and events in the city, to introducing me to lifelong friends. As a Peer Mentor, I loved connecting with other mentors who had studied abroad in other countries and had completely different experiences than I did. It also allowed me to become more active in my own college’s community by working with our own study abroad office and by meeting other students interested in study abroad through different events and fairs. I think it also gave me some valuable experience working in the travel industry before my internship and graduation.

Trip to Cinque Terre with API

Trip to Cinque Terre with API

(API) Do you still travel? Where have you gone most recently?

(CM) Yes, as much as I can! This past winter, I escaped the extreme cold with a long weekend in San Diego. The highlights were a hike at Torrey Pines and exploring San Diego’s own wine country. In a few weeks, I’ll be off to Charleston, SC for a girls trip, and of course, no New England summer is complete without a trip or two to the Cape!

Torrey Pines, San Diego

Torrey Pines, San Diego

(API) What’s next for you?

(CM) I’m currently working on my MBA part-time and have about a year and a half to go. I’m excited to see what the next chapter brings after that!

Christina MeileChristina Miele is an online business development associate for FlipKey, a division of TripAdvisor. Christina studied abroad with API in Florence, Italy, and served as an API Peer Mentor upon her return to Quinnipiac University.

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