Staff Spotlight: Mathieu Richard

School Director - EF Barcelona
After a Master in Management & Tourism, Mathieu worked in a group of ski resort in France as a Sales & Marketing manager. After 5 years in the ski industry, he joined EF Switzerland. He worked 3 years as a Country Product Manager and the joined the school of EF Barcelona to fill the Scool Director position.

What is your favorite travel memory?

EF School in Barcelona

My favorite travel memory takes place in Santa Barbara, California. When I was 17 years old, I joined the academic year program of EF.

The first day, I felt lost and really far from my home. I kind of felt alone, as my English was so bad that I couldn't understand a word of my host mother. I decided that I needed to enjoy this beautiful city, so I jumped into a bus heading to the beach.

I actually got lost and it took two hours to find the beach I wanted to go to. I realized that I didn't care, because I was surprised and amazed by everything I was seeing on my way there. I finally found the beach and seat there staring at the sunset.

I still can feel the soft wind and sun on my skin that day. I just need to close my eyes to see this sunset again and I'm sure I will never forget these feelings and images.

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

Since working for EF I've become more organized. I like to set deadlines and goals. It helps me to do more and better. I think I am also a better listener. I like and think it's really important to take the time to listen carefully to your colleagues or students.

Now, I also pay a lot more attention to details. Every detail counts and I know it can change the experience you are having.

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

The best story I've heard from a return student is actually when they decide to stay here in Barcelona. Every year, one or two students decide to live here in order to follow their studies or find a job. All of them tell us the same thing: " Thanks. You (EF) changed my life!".

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

As I explained in my favorite travel memory, I already did an academic year program with EF. So I would definitely repeat this program again. I would love to go to Sydney this time.

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

EF is unique because for the past 50 years our mission has been to open the world through education. EF is also unique because of the people who work and study with EF.

Both the EF employees and students all share the same passion for travel and cultural exchange. This common passion creates something special.

Regarding my team, I am really proud of them because they all work hard and go the extra mile to make sure our students have the best experience ever. They are smiling at all times and create a positive and comfortable atmosphere at the school. On top of all that, they are dedicated.