What is your favorite travel memory?
Hanging out along some lovely beaches on the Portuguese west coast north of Nazare and which only the locals seem to know about between lessons. Perfect place to pitch up for some quiet R and R, swimming and a cold beer at the end of a long hot day. I remember thinking 'wow - what a life!'
It all started with a TESOL qualification and I'm still slightly in awe of all the doors this qualification is capable of opening.
Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
Budapest. Long wide boulevards, buckets of history and the Danube. Loved running the marathon there in 2006. First time breaking 3hrs 30 too – that helped. I think there is so much to explore in the region and I expect these destinations are not on the top of most travel lists. I certainly can't wait to explore more. My knees are no longer up to running marathons so I'll have to find another excuse to go, though.
In terms of underrated cities; I've never really been a fan of London. I have always found it cold and dark. Much prefer European cities.
How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?
As a provider we were on the internet before Google and just watching how the internet has grown and shaped how we interact, search for goods, shop, etc has profoundly influenced me. Clearly nothing is ever static - you have to be constantly ensuring you are evolving and have the right courses for changes in the market and improving your services. I don't know if this is a change in character as much as a realization. I am so curious to see what the next few years will bring.
Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team
I think when we made the short list for a British Council award for our Speak and Learn Business English app for our sister organization, Phone English. It was great to look back at all the contributions our team has made to our English teaching courses over the years for Global English and translate that wealth of knowledge into an app for learners of English.
What is the best story you've heard from a return student?
There are so many....one ended up writing a book for pilots in Kazakhstan, having trained them and some have set up English language teaching businesses or schools in Italy, France and Germany.
One of my favorite stories is from a TESOL graduate of ours who went to Japan having taken our TESOL with business English course. He beat off a lot of competition for a prime teaching job in a major electronics company simply because he had this qualification and could prove in the interview that he was skilled in creating business English lessons. Made us feel very proud.