Gaining a broader worldview through global study
Taylor Zorski ’11 has experienced firsthand the benefits of studying abroad in his career path.
By Oliver Fischer ’19
The benefits of study abroad may not always be apparent, but for Taylor Zorski ’11, his experiences expanded his worldview and helped him face new challenges with confidence. “It’s a big deal traveling abroad,” says Zorski, a sales manager for e-commerce furniture and home décor company Wayfair. “It gets you immediately outside your comfort zone.”
Zorski visited Europe in 2009 while a sophomore studying economics at Elon. That course took him to Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Lithuania and Hungary. Two years later, he took part in the “China: Flying Dragon” course, which introduced him to several cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. Both experiences, besides offering him the opportunity to see the world, made him realize there is much more to experience outside college. “I wanted to pursue that more,” he says.
In 2014 Zorski was living in Boston when he joined Wayfair as a business account manager. He had been promoted to senior account manager when the opportunity to work for the company in Ireland came knocking in 2016. During the selection process, he was asked if he had ever been overseas. Zorksi was no stranger to international travel prior to Elon. His first trip abroad was to Cambodia at age 11, where his uncle started that nation’s first English newspaper, the Phnom Penh Post. “While my peers, when I was growing up, were going to Disney World or a Colorado ski trip, my parents took me to Cambodia, Morocco, Thailand, Switzerland and Australia,” Zorski says.
But his study abroad experiences at Elon went beyond sightseeing. They laid the foundation for a deeper curiosity and understanding of the world around him. Zorski experienced this firsthand during his trip to China. One night, his group was given the opportunity to eat duck and drink snake blood. The snake blood posed no problem, but the duck beak was too much, even for Zorski. “I remember I almost decided to throw out the duck beak,” he says. That’s when Associate Professor of Geography Honglin Xiao, who was leading the course, told him that was the best part of the dish and proceeded to show him how to eat it.
Experiences like this made Zorski feel comfortable when confronted with new situations and gave him the confidence to take on new challenges. These traits made him the perfect candidate for the position in Ireland, where he has been growing the Wayfair brand throughout Europe for the past two years. Besides Elon, Zorski credits his parents for instilling in him a desire to expand his view beyond the U.S. “They were a huge influence on me to for traveling abroad,” he says. “It was a great way to appreciate my education and the experiences that my parents gave me.”