Staff Member Spotlight: Miranda Houchens

Title
Enrollment Manager

Photos

Miranda moved to Vietnam from Washington state, USA, in 2017 to complete the Ninja Teacher TESOL program. After completing her certification and teaching English for a while, she joined the Ninja Teacher team and took over as Enrollment Manager in early 2018.

Miranda's job is to answer inquiries about the program, make sure trainees are prepared to move to Vietnam and to assist the teachers in finding employment after the course.

What is your favorite travel memory?

So many memories come to mind, but what sticks out the most is my study-abroad experience in Belfast, Northern Ireland when I was in university.

I don't come from a family who travels (in fact, I'm the only one in my immediate family who has been out of the country) and had never lived very far from home, but we grew up moving around the US. I attended 13 different schools and lived in 4 states throughout my childhood!

When I made the choice to move abroad for a semester, I was terrified, but it ended up being an experience that awakened in me a love for slow-travel and immersing myself in another country/culture.

When I returned, I immediately began planning my next move, which would end up with me arriving here in Vietnam three years later.

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

My position at Ninja Teacher allows me to incorporate my strengths into my work every day. My organization and communication have been significantly refined, as I'm constantly thinking of ways to streamline processes and make things as easy as possible for our upcoming trainees. I've also had the opportunity to meet tons of amazing people through my work, and have a wide community of colleagues and clients that I'm happy to call my friends!

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

Our alumni go on to do amazing things throughout their careers, and I've seen everything from individuals starting their own education companies, managing or creating academic departments, and even launching a podcast!

(Special shout-out to Ninja Teacher alumni Dana's podcast Creators in Saigon, available on all podcast platforms).

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

The 150-hour TESOL program at Ninja Teacher Academy is meticulously designed and provides an immense amount of support for new arrivals in Vietnam. We spent almost an entire year creating the curriculum, locating the perfect campus, and training up staff, and our efforts are ongoing as we constantly seek out opportunities to provide even better support for our trainees.

The program encompasses so much more than just a high-quality teacher training — we also make sure our teachers feel supported and informed from the second they reach out, help them to build a community here in Vietnam the minute they land and provide continuous alumni resources (like exclusive job opportunities and special events).

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

Our bottom line at Ninja Teacher is that we aim to be the most friendly, welcoming, and supportive program on the market. The satisfaction and well-being of our teachers are our #1 priority, and we view our work through a lens of continuous improvement.

Without getting into personal details, we've had a couple of instances of teachers suffering from significant mental and/or physical illness or injury during their time in Vietnam. I have been incredibly proud of the way not only our team but the entire Ninja Teacher community, have gone out of their way to ensure the safety of these individuals.

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

To be successful, you need to be passionate about what you're doing and have a mission that speaks to your values and goals in life.

People are always impressed by how enthusiastic we are here at Ninja Teacher, and the reason that this is so evident in our work is that we truly love what we do and wake up each day excited about what's to come!