We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen McBride, Ed.D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Karen, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I wanted to bring resources and expertise to the field during a tremendous time of need. When the world went into veritable lockdown in March 2020, the field of international higher education was effectively cut off at the knees. With no travel taking place and the traditional college experience under threat, educators and students needed life rafts… quickly. Also, images of large cities such as New Delhi and Los Angeles showing clear, blue skies within 8-10 weeks after a majority of air and road traffic ceased provided powerful images to the world about how we affect our environment every single day. The time was ripe to not only address the value and importance of international academic travel in particular, but also the relationship between international higher education and the climate crisis so that we can move forward together in a targeted way, rather than in a panicked, disjointed or dispassionate way. That is why I started my company. Had this taken place 10 years ago, I do not think I would’ve had the confidence or expertise to fully execute this. It’s funny how pathways seem to open up only after you begin the journey. You just gotta know how to read road signs. And if you hit a dead end, as we frequent travelers like to think, “that was still cool and now I have another story”.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Bound International champions international educational mobility as well as environmental sustainability. We provide the higher education community critical awareness and solutions on how to mitigate the impact of travel on climate. We accomplish through a full-service COIL program, sustainability education resources, strategic international partnerships and customized profiles for individuals and travelers.
Our innovative approach reflects our belief that the physical mobility of students and academics across borders provides an unparalleled psychological and educational experience but acknowledges the impact physical travel has on the climate and at-risk communities, spurring us to take appropriate Climate Action for Climate Justice.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If they’ve never been to San Antonio, I’d recommend the Riverwalk. It is the most frequented hot spot in San Antonio. Full of restaurants, bars, shops and businesses… as well as The Alamo. By the way, the audio tour of The Alamo is fantastic. A great history of the Texas Republic.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
For anyone who was good at something and decided to start their own business and chart their own path, particularly in higher education – thank you for being an example and showing that it can be done. With no good examples, confidence continues to get stifled.
Karen McBride Karen McBride Universidad Privada Boliviana Bound International