Staff Spotlight: Vanessa Durazo

Vanessa is a California born traveler living in Prague and teaching English thanks to The Language House!

What is your favorite travel memory?

Traveling in Europe

My favorite travel memory has to be my first time traveling to Prague. I had never traveled internationally by myself before.

I was flying from California to The Czech Republic via a layover in Russia. I was nervous, anxious, excited to start my new adventure abroad. I had never been to Europe before and I had just decided to start my new adventure living abroad for only 3 months.

Little did I know my life would change forever and almost two years later I am still in Prague teaching English!

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

Working for the Language House has been great. Back home in California I was a store manager of a retail boutique. One of my favorite things about my job was getting to train employees and future managers and helping them grow in something we were both passionate about.

Now, I feel like I'm doing something similar as I help expats learn to teach English in a foreign country. I had given presentations in front of 80+ people before, done walk throughs about my stores business in front of the President and board of executives of my company, and worked with many high profile customers, but nothing was like teaching English for the first time!

It's hard to explain how to teach someone something that you have known how to do since you were a small child; something that comes second nature to you.

It's difficult and rewarding and challenging all at the same time.

Teaching English has made me a much more confident person and I feel immense gratification knowing that I am helping someone hone or learn a new language that will help them in work or their social life.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Many things make The Language House unique. One of them being the dedication and unity of the team. It's easy to have a job and work from 9-5 every day just to get by. But at The Language House, it feels more like a small family. All the employees share their ideas and passions about getting the company to the next level.

It's not an hourly job but something that has intertwined with your life. Your co-workers are your closest friends and together you work towards doing what you love better and better. Our meetings aren't just opportunities for us to "hang-out" or discuss ideas "from the top" but to come together and naturally talk about the progression of the school and what direction we see it going in.

It's inspiring to work with such creative people and to be among team members who really enjoy what they do and look forward to doing it every day.

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

To be a successful company you have to listen. You need to listen to your employees: their needs, ideas, and aspirations. You also need to listen to listen to your customers: what they want, what they are looking to get out of your company, and what you can offer them that no one else can.

All of this has to happen with creativity , passion, and patience. You don't create a great company based off of the idea of one, but through the collaboration of many.