Fast Facts about Amy Klus
Assistant Director of Alumni Travel
Northwestern University’s alumni association has grown to include 200,000 members since its founding in 1851. Between 500 and 600 of those members travel with the association each year, with about 8,500 travelers who have signed up for one or more trips in the past 10 years.
Born: Racine, Wisconsin
Education: B.B.A. in marketing
Employment: Right after college, Klus landed her first job at EF Education First, a company in the educational travel industry. She started with the Northwestern Alumni Association in 2011.
Hobbies: In her spare time, Klus plays co-ed softball, practices yoga and attends a book club to support her love of reading.
When taking calls from au pairs living in American homes, you never know what you’ll hear next. From dealing with language barriers to culture shock, Amy Klus kept busy sorting through issues from students around the world with differing backgrounds and expectations when she worked in the au pair division of EF Education First.
“We answered a lot of interesting phone calls,” said Klus, assistant director, alumni travel, for Northwestern University. “There are a lot of cultural things to figure out when working with au pairs. I really learned a lot about customer service.”
Those skills would serve her well when her dream job opened up at Northwestern University.
Now, instead of explaining American customs to foreign youth, Klus facilitates travel for alumni members interested in the organization’s culturally immersive tours.
An Epiphany in Spain
A study-abroad program in Spain led Klus to more than just a semester of fun.
“I got the travel bug when I studied abroad in Spain,” said Klus. “I had such a good time there. It was my first real experience with another culture. I realized that the educational travel business was a big thing. So I knew when I got back home, I wanted to work in educational travel.”
With this career goal in mind, Klus searched for a job and ended up taking the au pair relations job for EF Education First in Boston. Eventually moving back to the Midwest nearer where she grew up, she found a posting for a position that seemed created just for her.
“I met a lot of people who worked for universities, and they seemed to really enjoy it,” said Klus. “Then I got lucky. There was a posting for an alumni travel coordinator. It seemed perfect for me. I had no idea that alumni travel was a thing before I saw the job posting online.”
Now Klus helps plan 40 to 45 educational and entertainment trips for about 500 to 600 travelers a year. She enjoys indulging her love of travel when it is her turn to host one of the trips.
“I have hosted several trips, including ones to Istanbul, Argentina and Florence,” said Klus. “It’s been a great experience. I’ve gotten to see a lot of places in the world that I didn’t even know I wanted to go to.”