Staff Member Spotlight: Eleri Maitland

Title
Managing Director

Photos

What is your favorite travel memory?

The Charity rally I did last year to Mongolia - it took us 8 weeks and we crossed 22 countries.

It was a great reminder of how important being able to communicate in different languages is and just how complex even simple tasks become if you can not speak the language of the country you are in!

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

My husband and I started the company 25 years ago and I have learned so much during that time -
even things as simple as how to use a computer! I think that I have become a lot more flexible and open to new adventures and possibilities, even more so since the death of my husband two years ago and subsequent ‘promotion’ to CEO.

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

This is not the story of a return student but that of a young man who came to us to do his DALF C1 course.

It was vital for him to pass this tricky exam and I asked him why he had chosen French in Normandy rather than a center in the South as often Swiss students choose the Côte d’Azur. He said that he thought that we would be more serious about the C1 as there would be less sea and sun, but he said that he had such a great time exploring Normandy including the beaches and that for him, our school was just the best as we were "seriously fun". I just love his comment with its play on words and have made it one of our slogans.

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

I would go on the French and Cooking program. My mother sent me to France when I was 12 to a family where the host mother was a fabulous cook and I have loved cooking ever since.

I owe the fact that I can cook and speak French to Zette - I was too shy to go the local public school with the daughter who was my age so I stayed and helped Zette with the cooking every day.

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

I am always proud of my team. They are loyal, devoted, hardworking and always positive. They all always go the extra mile for every single one of our students. No one gets left behind.

I think that it is this high level of personal attention and genuine affection that makes our school unique and so successful and the reason why so many students come back again and again. Plus the great exam results!

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

Good humor, communication, and teamwork are all indispensable if you want to get the best out of your staff and never be afraid to face the challenges that running a language school and welcoming 150 students every week poses!