Staff Member Spotlight: Mike Maitland

Title
Director

Photos

Mike was in telesales in the UK for many years before he took the life-changing trip to teach English in Thailand. A few years later, he started recruiting others to have the same unforgettable experiences and TEFL Heaven was born, reaching more than 14 countries and helping over 2000 souls to teach English abroad. He lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife and 5 children.

What is your favorite travel memory?

I have been able to attend many, many courses in TEFL, and my favorite group was in April 2014 on Koh Chang. The group had an amazing amount of synergy, love and care for each other, and they were very kind to us as a family and a company. We made a TEFL Heaven 'Happy by Pharrell Williams' parody and stuck it on YouTube - tons of fun!

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

Yes, I have grown immensely. Living abroad changes you for good. You have to adapt, become more empathetic and your mind is open to new ways of loving and being. Helping others do this has been a pleasure for many years.

Dealing with people makes you more aware of their needs and wants. There has been times where I have had to come to the rescue with a teacher getting ill and had to take them to the hospital at 4am... those times are hard, but worth it knowing I have helped.

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

This doesn't happen often, but a few months ago, two candidates who met on the TEFL course in Krabi just got married in Canada! They were a lovely couple, and everyone said they'd get married one day, but yet I don't know if anyone actually believed that! To see the impact we can have in other ways is fun, but this is only the 2nd time it's happened in 10 years!

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

Thailand hands down. I live here, but I love the atmosphere we create here. The training is in a resort, and everyone stays in the same resort. It's like we create a family atmosphere and culture. I really love our Thailand course. And the country is still as amazing as it was my first time here.

Also, you can meet me!

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

We love people. This is what makes us unique. We want you to have the BEST experience teaching abroad, and lets face it: with all the factors of culture, budgeting money, new language, new food, new weather, it can get hard at times. But the support we give is there because we actually care, not because we want to make a lot of money. If we do a great job, you will refer your friends. This is how we have grown immensely as well.

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

You have to understand the needs and desires and problems and pains of those you are serving, and then you need to go and help them in whatever way you can to get whatever they need. Seems simple, but so many companies are creative. The management decides what the offer is. It's much more accurate to let the customer decide what the offer is and match it to their needs. You need to be a detective.