Staff Spotlight: Ida Speyer

Marketing Director
Ida is an avid traveler and food lover, who found the perfect city when she moved to Shanghai in 2015. Now she spends her time exploring China and meeting people from around the world in China's most cosmopolite city.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Working in Shanghai with Hutong School

My favorite travel memory is a 23 hour train ride from Beijing to Guilin. The train turns into a mini village once you are on the road, with people cooking and playing cards around you. Everyone was so nice and curious about us and we made some very interesting friends along the way.

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

At Hutong School we are constantly challenging ourselves to do better and improve. I have never learned as much and as fast as in Hutong School. The team is young and energetic so we always have fun and bounce ideas of each other.

Combine this with students and interns from every country in the world coming through our doors to do a program in China, and you have the perfect melting pot of people to learn from.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I always love when students return to China after a program with us. Sometimes they have found a job (often within their internship company) and they have decided to move here permanently.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I would do the intensive Chinese program in Beijing! You are immersed completely in the Chinese culture and you experience all the best that Beijing has to offer while learning this fascinating language. With 4 hours of Chinese per day you really progress fast and I would like nothing more than to take my Chinese to the next level.

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

My favorite thing about Hutong School is the respect for people and culture that we all embrace. All companies have a "personality" that trickles through everything that it does, and at Hutong School that personality is really amazing.

Everyone from our students and interns, to staff, to the people who live in our neighborhood are important to us and are treated as such.

I am always proud of the team when they go the extra mile. We recently had a student fall ill while in China, and the whole team came together to support that person and make sure that they were well taken care of. I really like to see that this is more than a job for everyone; we really care about the people who come here.

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

Having the right people makes all the difference. Even though most of our staff are very young, everyone take a lot of responsibility for their job and show great initiative. We are always open to change, so anytime someone has a good idea we try it out.