Staff Spotlight: Max Hobbs


Enjoying living in one of the most eccentric cities in the World as Marketing Manager at the wonderful LTL Mandarin School. Doing my best to learn Chinese, win poker tournaments and deal with the 8 hour UK time difference to watch UK football!

What is your favorite travel memory?

It's very difficult to pin one down given the diversity of the places I've visited but one trip will stick in the memory from 2012. My and a group of friends traveled to Poland and Ukraine following England in the European Football Championships. The trip included a 32 hour train from Krakow to Donetsk to watch England's first match.

Just before boarding we saw the famed Nick Collins (one of the UK's most popular faces on TV). We approached him and he duly offered us an interview which aired back home on Sky Sports News, a channel watching by millions. Our phones went mad within minutes and watching the interview back on TV was surreal. The train itself is beyond words. Copious amounts of vodka, beautiful scenery and 32 hours of meeting and greeting with people from all over the world. Just marvelous!

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

In terms of my working ability my skills have increased tenfold in my short stint here so far. Likewise, my Chinese has gone from basic vocab to intermediate level which I'm delighted about considering time is very hard to find working full time. China brings the best out of everyone and it's showing that in my first few months here.

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

Every student has a different, unique story. It's unfair to pin one down. The fact everyone has their own little story makes each and everyone so interesting. No two students are ever the same. What's always great is seeing students come back for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th stints at LTL. That shows how much people value the school and how much they enjoy spending time in China learning Chinese.

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

Our immersion program in Chengde is fascinating. No English and speaking Mandarin 24/7 means this is the place to go to study Chinese. It offers something cities like Beijing and Shanghai just cannot offer. Chengde forces you into "uncomfortable positions". Yet, it's these aforementioned conditions that will enhance your skills, probably without you even realizing!

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

Our Immersion Program. No other competitor boasts Immersion like we do. Chengde is special, it's real China and our students make huge improvements in ridiculously short periods of time. As mentioned above you won't have a choice but to wriggle out of a situation using just your Chinese tools. When you get around the situation, it's a really nice feeling. Chengde does this a lot.

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

Togetherness. If the team pulls together, anything is possible. That very much shows at LTL I feel. There are three main units to our schools. The students, the staff and the teachers. All three mix, mingle and enjoy time together inside and outside of school. I think this is a huge factor in the company's growth in the last decade and I can only see that getting strong and tighter as more people come through the door.