Staff Spotlight: Ryan Cullen

Foreign Language Instructor


What is your favorite travel memory?

I travel almost any chance I get. I enjoy experiencing new cultures and locations.

My favorite trip is probably when my family went to Egypt. We took a cruise down the Nile River, stopping along the way to visit towns and ancient ruins. It was quite awe inspiring - particular sitting inside the chamber of the Great Pyramid that’s some 4,500 years old.

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

I joined Vantage after graduating from university. My outlook has changed considerably since then. The most important lesson from my years as an instructor is the ability to empathize with students.

This skill is harder to obtain than it sounds. Not everyone learns the same way. Being able to get into your student’s head helps you develop a more diverse teaching method that is tailored to different learning styles. This takes a lot of practice.

My goal is to impart this empathy skill to our trainees through their Foreign Language Experience component of our TEFL course.

So our TEFL trainees can better understand where their students are coming from, we put them on the other side of the desk so they can experience what it’s like for their students when they teach them English.

We do this over two Thai lessons and the TEFL trainees submit a journal summarizing what they have learned. Afterwards I sit with each trainee and go through and discuss their student experience.

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

At Vantage we want our students to find success in the competitive job market. My favorite stories are always the ones where they come back to you with news of job offers or cushy positions.

One of our students got a job offer before she finished the actual course. One of the main reasons she was hired was the “strength of her materials” – referring to her resume. We helped build that resume for her.

It feels great being able to help our candidates start their careers.

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

I believe Vantage TEFL is unique in the personalized level of customer service we provide our candidates. Besides the small class sizes, Vantage TEFL offers a unique resume preparation class.

One of our instructors had previously worked with headhunters, amassing decades of experience in building world-class resumes. Each of our students get their own dedicated one-on-one session where resume coach works with them to build a strong CV.

This is just one of the ways in which Vantage goes above and beyond to provide great customer service on an individual basis.

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

With TEFL programs, I think the biggest factor in a company’s success is word of mouth. There are a lot of TEFL programs out there and it can be overwhelming for a potential candidate. What candidates rely on the most when making their decision are reviews.

That’s why Vantage has a comprehensive website where we strive to provide our customers with as much information as possible. We update our social media account so they get a window into what the course is like – as well as testimonials from former students. We also take pride in our reviews on sites like