Staff Spotlight: Wendy Coulson



Wendy has lived for more than a third of her life outside of the US in France, Hungary, Mexico, and Colombia, learning the languages as she goes along.

She has a Master's degree in Applied Linguistics and TESOL, which makes traveling while working much easier.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Meeting up with Nepali colleagues in Kathmandu who led me through the colorful, scented labyrinthine allies of the old town drinking hot lemon water, spinning prayer wheels and trying new street foods. I felt like I was walking through a dream!

The next day I asked two of the guys if we could go back there and they had no idea where we had gone.

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

I was nervous about tutoring online, not being technologically savvy. With the guidance of the Tutor Manager and handbook while tutoring a class of new TEFL trainees, I kind of feel like a much so that I am now taking an online class myself.

This was also the first time that I mentored non-teaching professionals. This experience added another layer to my skill set.

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

The trainees have yet to go abroad, yet one of them has applied for a Fulbright Teaching Assistant position and he asked me to write a recommendation. He was so applied during the course that I know he has an excellent chance of getting it.

I love the idea that some of the trainees, whom I will probably never meet in person, are using this experience to get valuable career and cultural experience.

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

I would choose to teach young learners in China to gain more experience in such an expanding market for English teaching. I would love to get some firsthand experience so that I can have more tools in my belt for training teachers in Asia.

I am an experienced teacher trainer in Latin America and the Middle East. However, when I see projects in Asia, they often prefer someone with experience in that region.

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

CIEE is unique in that it offers flexible online TEFL certification classes aimed at recently graduated college students that not only help them get the basic professional skills they need to teach, but also land them a job in one of their many programs.

An added bonus is that there is a strong online community of practice. CIEE doesn't just treat the trainees like clients: they really want to ensure their total success in the program.

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

The tutor and trainee support. I thought I would feel alone teaching virtually from my kitchen table having to figure out everything myself. My experience has been totally the opposite the attentive staff and extensive online support. They do their best to give a human touch to this virtual experience.