Staff Spotlight: Eric Joseph Ripple

Eric is a Lebanese American from Nashville, Tennessee. He is currently working and living it up in Shanghai, China. He believes in sailing through life with a smile and a sense of humor.

guy smiling and teaching

What is your favorite travel memory?

A week after arriving in China, I hit an unusual snag. I was in a place that I had never been to and knew no one and definitely didn’t speak the language. At the close of my first two weeks I had found an apartment, mapped out my route to work, and found a lovely group of friends. Then on a very short notice I had to leave my new home. I realized I had a choice to make: I could either pack it up and go back to the U.S. or go to Thailand. Needless to say, I didn’t choose the first option.

I spent the next two months discovering the hidden truths of Thailand and of myself. My days were spent wandering in and out of markets, temples and alleyways in Bangkok, relaxing on the sunny beaches of Phuket, searching the meaning of life at a Buddhist meditation retreat in Chang Mai and finishing it all off with a very unique Muy Thai camp in Pai. Forget the closed door – jump through the window.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The biggest factor to success or failure is you! Although it may seem a cliché, it is incredibly true. Companies are made up of people. Some companies have thousands of team members; some only have two. The point is without the people the company would not exist. To be successful, the needs and priorities of the team members must be recognized and well taken care of. It is not just enough to tell them that you know what is important to them. You have to show them.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Working for EF has changed me in so many different ways! I never saw myself as a teacher or working with kids...ever. Looking back on a year of not only teaching, but teaching kids, I have never been happier with a job.

Working as a kids and teens teacher has made me see life from a different perspective. I have a whole new respect for the learning and interpersonal interaction process.

Teaching ESL has helped me grow as a communicator both verbally and non-verbally. Teaching kids has forced me out of any comfort zone I ever had and made me realize just how different and exactly the same we all really are.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

There are many companies that offer ESL education, but none that do it on the global scale that EF does. Many people seem to have a negative perception of the words “global corporation.” What most people don't realize is that being part of a team with a global presence has just as many, if not more, positive attributes. Being part of a global corporation gives teachers access to some of the best resources and materials. As part of the team, we have never ending chances for growth and development. Lastly, everyone in the ESL field knows EF, which gives my work experience instant credibility.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

My team has grown and changed a lot in the past year. Sometimes as a foreign teacher, I can feel palpably that people are always coming and going. The school can feel like a revolving door of personalities and cultural differences. One thing I love about my team now is that everyone actively wants to grow closer and stronger together. I think I can speak for most of the team when I say we care about what we do and whom we do it with.