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Following the path to great people: Steph’s EF journey

Steph’s career at EF Education First actually began with an interview at a large financial firm. A friend from university suggested Steph apply, so she gave it a shot. But when Steph sat down for her interview and began talking about studying abroad, travel, and education, it was clear she was in the wrong office.

“The person I interviewed with just kind of said, ‘Hmm, well, that’s interesting, but this doesn’t sound like the right job for you,’” Steph says, smiling. “Then she asked, ‘have you heard of EF?’”

From the moment she learned about EF, Steph felt it was an ideal fit and made it her (successful) mission to get a job there. She started in a sales role with EF Go Ahead Tours in the Boston office, and while it was clear she belonged at EF, she quickly realized she didn’t belong in sales. “I loved talking to customers, but I didn’t love the role; I wasn’t the best at it,” she admits.

Her manager noticed Steph had a knack for operations, so she suggested Steph try her hand as an Office Coordinator, greeting staff and guests at the front desk. “I instantly realized this was perfect for me,” she says of the position. “I enjoyed that it was operational, and I liked being a resource for everyone.”

At the front desk, Steph got to see job candidates come and go, drawn to EF’s Boston office from all over the East Coast. “It piqued my interest in hiring people to work at EF,” she says. “Working at the front desk exposed me to that world of recruiting.”

Steph wanted to give it a try, so in true EF style, she raised her hand. The Recruiting and Development (RED) team invited Steph to help out at a local career fair—Steph was immediately hooked. “It was awesome!” Steph says. “I got to talk to students for eight hours a day about why they should work at EF.”

Lucky for Steph, a position on the RED team soon opened up, and she began to help with EF staff recruiting and onboarding across the U.S. “I would make sure the paperwork for new hires got taken care of, and I’d lead new-hire orientation on Mondays. I did a lot of the processing to get new staff set up.”

Along the way, Steph saw an opportunity. “It started with a RED team meeting, talking about how new staff would come in and we’re a huge resource at the beginning, but we don’t hear from them again until they’ve decided to leave,” she explains. Steph pitched the idea to create a check-in to get staff feedback on how their jobs were going.

The RED team launched a group breakfast to do just that, celebrating new hires’ 90-day marks while also providing a forum to ask questions. “It’s a good time to check in because you’re finally feeling like you know how to do your job, you’re getting settled,” Steph explains. “It’s a great way for people to feel like they’re being heard while meeting people from other products.”

Now, Steph has moved both roles and countries within the RED team—she recently moved to EF’s Toronto office to be a Recruiting Manager for EF Educational Tours, which brings high school students and their teachers on trips abroad.

The chance to move to Toronto came as a bit of surprise to Steph, who hadn’t considered moving to Canada until she was asked about the role. “A lot of people thought I was crazy,” she laughs. “But I knew I loved EF and this was the perfect job.”

And if there’s one thing Steph has learned at EF, it’s to always say “yes” to a new opportunity. “Even if it doesn’t make sense at that point, someone is putting your name out there and thinks you’d be a great fit for a position, or sees something in you that you might not.”

So far, Steph’s new role confirms what she knew from the start: EF is a great fit for her. “I love seeing the people I hire come in and be successful,” she explains. “I can really feel my impact here—the small wins in the office add up to truly make me proud that I made this move.”

Interested in opening the world with us? Visit careers.ef.com

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