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Driving opportunities through language learning: Ludvig’s EF journey

It was a blustery day in December, only four months into his new job as a Business Analyst with EF English Live, when Ludvig’s manager called him into a meeting and asked if he’d be willing to relocate to São Paulo, Brazil.

Ludvig had started at EF Education First as an EF360 Global Management Trainee then went on to work on projects that help inform and improve EF English Live’s strategic decision making—all in EF’s London office. But he was excited about working in Brazil, a key place for English language learning and a tech-forward market where online learning platforms like EF English Live are highly relevant. The management team there needed someone with a knowledge of the business—someone like Ludvig—on the ground to help out.

“It was a quick decision between me, my manager and the president of EF English Live, but I don’t regret it for a second,” Ludvig says about his choice.

Aside from the appeal of leaving rainy London behind in pursuit of sunny São Paulo, Ludvig was motivated by the prospect of supporting the Brazil management team with their daily operations and influencing strategy for the market moving forward.

“I was only planning on staying in the country temporarily, but at the end of the first few months I felt unsettled at the prospect of leaving,” he explains. “I had spent all this time getting to know the incredible team here and accumulating knowledge about the business. I couldn’t just generate a list of projects to drive change and then not see them through.”

And so, that’s exactly what he’s doing. Committed to staying in São Paolo for another year, Ludvig and his team are solving a variety of EF English Live’s business challenges for both Brazil and other South American markets.

When asked which project he feels most passionate about, Ludvig talks about an initiative to focus on existing customers and help them become fluent in English by extending their learning programs.

“Historically, there’d been a lot of focus on new customers,” Ludvig points out. “People used to sign on to an English course for one year. Someone could improve their English in one year…but learning a new language requires commitment and dedication. When students stay for two or three years, their English improvement is significantly higher.”

And that means a lot to Ludvig, who has seen firsthand the impact EF English Live has on the customers who use it. An impact, he explains, that circles back to his own language learning experience with EF.

“I spent six weeks in Nice learning French at an EF International Language Campus when I was 22,” says Ludvig. “At the time, I was getting my master’s degree and I thought it would be cool to study abroad in Montreal, so I traveled to France to improve my French beforehand. Many people, like me, learn a language for fun or because they want to be able to connect with other cultures when they travel, which is a great reason. But speaking English in Brazil is similar to getting your MBA in the States—it’s going to set you apart, to increase your opportunities of getting a better job or of getting promoted. So, if we, with a great service, can create opportunities and help people improve their livelihoods, that’s a powerful thing.”

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