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Grand Circle Overview

www.gct.com
Boston, MA
501 to 1000 employees
1958
Company - Private
Travel & Tourism
$500 million to $1 billion (USD) per year
About Grand Circle Corporation

Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprise committed to changing people’s lives through international travel. Our family of travel companies—which you can read more about below—offers a ... Read more

Mission: Our Mission: We strive to be the world leader in international travel, adventure, and discovery for American travelers over 50—providing impactful and intercultural experiences that significantly improve the quality of their lives.

Grand Circle – Why Work For Us?


Grand Circle Corporation is a global enterprise committed to changing people’s lives through international travel. Our family of travel companies—which you can read more about below—offers a variety of innovative trips to more than 60 countries, serving Americans age 50 and older. To date, more than 2 million people have traveled with us, including more than 110,000 people in the past year.

Our Grand Circle family includes:

 

Grand Circle Travel (GCT): Established in 1958 by Ethel Andrus, educator and founder of the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), Grand Circle Travel offers 19 unique vacations, all based on the pillars of comprehensive value, leisurely pacing, varied choice, and cultural discovery.  

www.gct.com

 

Grand Circle Cruise Line (GCCL): Our cruise division was established in 1998 and now includes 13 river ships, three 50-passenger ships, the 98-passenger M/V Corinthian, and exclusive charters. With this fleet, we offer 33 Small Ship and River Cruise tours to Europe, Antarctica, Burma, South America, the Panama Canal, and beyond. We’re proud to say that for the past three years, readers of Condé Nast Traveler have named Grand Circle Cruise Line the “World’s Best River Cruise Line” in its annual Readers’ Choice Awards.

 

Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT): Established in 1978, Overseas Adventure Travel is the leader in small groups on the road less traveled. We offer 44 adventures around the world in small groups of just 10-16 people by land and up to 24 people by sea. Our travelers are guided off the beaten path by expert, resident Trip Leaders, who connect them with locals through day-long visits to their communities, schools, and villages. Ultimately, our goal is to ensure our travelers journey to the heart of their destination by experiencing local modes of transportation, staying in authentic lodgings, and indulging in the culture.

www.oattravel.com

Our Mission: We strive to be the world leader in international travel, adventure, and discovery for American travelers over 50—providing impactful and intercultural experiences that significantly improve the quality of their lives.

Associate Responsibility: We will provide an environment that fosters professional development and encourages personal growth for our associates. We will maintain competitive compensation and benefits packages relative to the industry and community. We will conduct business with respect for each individual and their role within the organization.

Customer Responsibility: Grand Circle Corporation, through direct marketing, is committed to providing experienced American travelers with the most exciting travel, adventure, and discovery programs in the world at unequaled value. We strive for 100% customer satisfaction.

Financial Responsibility: We will operate Grand Circle Corporation in a sound financial manner, to create growth, and increase its value.

Social Responsibility: Global citizenship is central to the success of Grand Circle Corporation. We will commit time, people and funding through the Grand Circle Foundation to local, national, and global communities in which we live and explore, thus creating a better world for our travelers to discover.


Our Core Values

What sets Grand Circle apart from other companies is our unique culture. It’s based on a set of core values that we work to employ every day. As an employee, you’ll be expected to work (and play) hard in a results-driven environment and demonstrate our core values on a regular basis:

 

  • Open and Courageous Communication—The best way to break down barriers and continually improve what we do is by communicating in a direct, candid, and respectful manner. A large part of this is giving—and asking for—open and honest feedback.
  • Risk-Taking—At Grand Circle, we feel we’ve failed when we’ve chosen not to take a risk and learn from the result. We constantly move out of our comfort zone to try new things in an effort to improve our business.
  • Teamwork—We believe in groups of people who work together to create excellent results, solve difficult problems, support each other personally and professionally, and recognize success. In a fast-paced and rapidly changing environment like ours, each member of the team is critical.
  • Speed—To maintain our position as a leader in the travel industry, we need to be as fast and as flexible as possible. Our employees are often expected to take speed to a new level to achieve our aggressive corporate goals.
  • Quality—While we strive for speed, we know that our decisions must also be made in accordance with high standards of quality and service. We’re always reexamining our level of quality to ensure we’re best serving our customers.
  • Thriving in Change—In these times of rapid change, global competition, and high volatility in the travel industry, we are constantly poised to change course and move forward. Even in an unpredictable and ever-changing environment, we work to maximize our effectiveness and turn tough challenges into growth opportunities.

 

Bottom line: We’re not your typical company, and we’re not looking for typical applicants. We want to meet people who are just as passionate and unique as we are.

Our Location

 

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We’re located at 347 Congress Street in Boston, Massachusetts—in the heart of the fast-growing Fort Point neighborhood.

 Check Out Our Office

 You’ve probably never worked in an office that looks quite like ours. As you enter our building, you’ll be greeted by sounds from around the world (perhaps including bird calls, Greek bouzouki music, or Buddhist chanting). Here, you’ll also see our giant sculpture of Raju—a Thai elephant—and Mahout—his steady rider.

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Each of our six floors is designed to reflect a specific region of the world where we travel, with displays that include indigenous art and artifacts, architectural details, native textiles, and informational placards. The second floor, for example, is dedicated to Africa and the Middle East, and is filled with costumes and artifacts that represent the vibrant culture of the Maasai people.

 

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In our basement, you’ll find Grand Circle Gallery, where Alan and Harriet Lewis, Grand Circle Corporation Chairman and Vice Chairman, display their extensive collection of travel posters with the public. Also on this floor is Harriet’s Corner—an open and dynamic space that acts as a gather place for our travelers, visitors, and community partners.

 

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How We Give Back

 At Grand Circle, one of our greatest passions is giving back to our Boston community, as well as communities around the world. Because of this, we try to make it as easy as possible for our employees and travelers to assist the organizations that mean the most to them, working together to make the world a better place.

 Supporting our Community

We’re proud to say that every year, more than 97% of our employees in Boston participate in community service, whether by donating blood, participating in the Pan-Mass Challenge, or lending a hand at the Greater Boston Food Bank. We also offer a Matching Gift Program for our Boston employees, meaning that we’ll match any donation they make of $25 or more—up to $500 per year.

 However, our Boston associates are not the only ones dedicated to bettering their communities. Employees in our 36 offices around the world also organize their own service events, and in the past, have rebuilt homes in a flooded village in Cambodia, painted classrooms in a South African school, entertained the elderly at a nursing home in China, and much more.

 Lending a Hand Around the World

In 1992, Alan and Harriet Lewis founded the nonprofit Grand Circle Foundation[CG1]  to give employees and travelers the chance to give back to the world we travel. Through the Foundation, which is an entity of the Lewis Family Foundation, we’ve pledged or donated more than $130 million to support 300 organizations around the world—including 60 villages and almost 100 schools that lie in the path of our trips.

 [CG1]Link to http://www.grandcirclefoundation.org/

Grand Circle Reviews

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Alan E. Lewis
102 Ratings
  • "Sales Travel Consultant"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Boston, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Grand Circle full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Get a chance to travel the world

    Cons

    Can't travel until you worked there a year

    Advice to Management

    Learn how to talk to people

See All 174 Reviews

Grand Circle Interviews

Interview Experience

Interview Experience
34%
26%
38%

Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview
65%
18%
11%
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Interview Difficulty

3.2
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  1. Helpful (2)  

    Traveler Support Associate Interview

    Anonymous Interview Candidate in Boston, MA
    No Offer
    Neutral Experience
    Average Interview

    Application

    I applied through an employee referral. The process took 1+ week. I interviewed at Grand Circle (Boston, MA) in September 2016.

    Interview

    My first interview was a phone/screening interview with a recruiter where I was asked situational personality questions, and got more information about the job requirements. The company is very serious about their six core values, practicing an open attitude, and being extremely flexible with regard to scheduling. I was surprised when I was asked in the screening interview about potential conflicts up to 4 or 5 months in advance. I have never been asked to provide this information in an interview before, or at the very least, not in the initial stage. At the end of the phone interview I was invited to participate in a group interview on site 2 days later. I was interviewing together with 4 other people who were applying for different, non-competing positions. We were asked to share our knowledge about the company values, client base, programs on offer, and then show teamwork in action by collaborating on an egg drop/travel pitch challenge, and a hypothetical crisis management scenario. We were then asked to rate ourselves on a scale of 1-5 and explain why we chose that rating. After the group session, we were brought to a waiting room where we waited to be called up for part 2, observation and one-on-one. I listened in on a customer service call and was asked to provide feedback for the person I was listening to. Then I was asked to a one-on-one with a hiring manager.

    Interview Questions

    • Describe a situation where you had to confront a colleague or superior about a method you disagreed with. How did you handle the situation? What was the result?   Answer Question
See All 77 Interviews

Grand Circle Awards & Accolades

  • World's Best Small-Ship Cruise Lines, Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards, 2016
  • World's Best River Cruise Lines, Travel + Leisure World's Best Awards, 2016
  • Best River Cruise Line, USA Today, 2016
  • #! World's Best River Cruise Line, Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, 2015
  • Global Vision Award, Travel and Leisure, 2013
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