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Brad and Hugh: EF Friends Forever

Brad and Hugh: EF Friends Forever

Who says summer jobs aren’t fun? As a student at the University of the West of England, Brad worked for EF Education First’s Language Travel schools in Torquay, Torbay, and Oxford over the summer. He told his best friend at university, Hugh, about how great EF was, but Hugh wanted to focus on law. One year after graduation, Brad knew law was too quiet a life for Hugh, so he referred Hugh to EF.

Ten years later, Hugh is now a School Director with EF in New Zealand and Brad is a Senior Operations Manager with EF Language Travel in the UK. Despite the long distance, the two remain best friends and meet up for a trip together every year. We caught up with Brad to see how he knew Hugh should give up a life of law for a career at EF.

Q: How did you know Hugh was the right fit for EF?
A: Hugh and I met in our second year of university and have been best friends ever since. It took me a couple of years to convince him to come and join for an EF Language Travel summer, but once he did he never looked back. Hugh is just a really great guy—he’s funny, caring, and smart. Perfect for an EF Language Travel activity leader! He of course has gone on quite the journey since then, progressing from Teacher to School Director in Auckland.

Q: What is your best EF memory with Hugh?
A: The language team kickoff in Paris. I had been going to the annual kickoffs for eight years, but this was Hugh’s first. It was great to see how much he had grown within the company and he really flourished in that environment.

Q: What EF core value does Hugh display most?
A: He is passionate, fully embodying work hard, play hard. You can see his team loves him and totally respects him in both a professional and personal capacity. In my opinion, it’s the perfect balance everyone should strive to have.

Q: How does Hugh make EF a better place to work?
A: Who doesn’t want to work with their best mate? He has worked primarily in EF’s International Language School division and myself within Language Travel, so it was great having someone to help me out with those “silly” questions when I moved to the International Language School in 2017.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at EF?
A: It’s been said a thousand times, but it really is the people. There’s something very unique about an EFer. The other thing I love is the opportunity for travel: I’m an English guy working in Australia, and two weeks ago I was in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul in the span of a week. Of course, whilst travelling you then get to meet even more fantastic EF people!

Q: What’s a key piece of advice you would give to a new EFer?
A: Take your opportunities to network and focus on maintaining those relationships. You meet so many people with EF—you never know where that Sales Coordinator may end up. I have seen people grow from Sales Coordinator to later become Sales Manager and then Country Manager. Maintaining those relationships throughout as well as respect and professionalism is hugely important. You get to meet so many wonderful people within EF, always enjoy and embrace meeting them.