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Words of wisdom from 10 EF women

Words of wisdom from 10 EF women

The women of EF Education First support one another–whether it’s giving encouragement on an early morning run, staying late to help meet a deadline, or hopping on a last-minute call to offer some advice–they’re always ready and willing to lend a helping hand.

Regardless of seniority—or gender—teamwork is commonplace across EF divisions and locations. This sense of collaboration (supported by open-concept offices) makes finding a mentor easy and seeking advice as simple as turning to the person next you. In that spirit, this International Women’s Day, a host of EF women are sharing what they’ve learned along the way–their own words of wisdom. Read on for some indispensable advice from just a few of EF’s female leaders:

“Go off script. We often feel we have to follow the script—in school, our career, business decisions, personal interactions, etc. Be brave enough to go off script and see what happens. You might surprise yourself.”

-Michelle, Vice President Marketing, EF Ultimate Break

“Feedback is a gift—both positive and constructive. Seek it out, be open to it, embrace it, and pay it forward by sharing it with others.”

-Amy, Vice President Global Recruitment and Employee Development, EF Education First

“Above all, know yourself. This is probably the hardest thing to do partly because as fast as everything is changing, we are changing too. So, make an annual ‘date’ with yourself to assess your past year, evaluate your goals, and understand your needs. Then, adapt accordingly.”

-Bronwyn, Country Manager South Africa, EF Language

“Be inspired and be inspiring. Surround yourself with people who balance your strengths. Know that mentors come in all shapes and sizes—make sure to find one!”

-Dana, Vice President, EF Properties

“Be brave and adventurous. Take the leap into something new, even if you have never tried it before. It might not work out perfectly, but it’s always worth giving it a go.”

-Anna, Vice President Global Marketing, EF Corporate Solutions

“You are unique and defined by your actions, successes and mistakes, all of which are enormous learning opportunities. Show your passion and energy and others will invest in you. Collaborate well: a team has diversity and great strength.”

-Bev, Executive Vice President, EF Properties

“Have genuine curiosity for people and new knowledge. I encourage [everyone] to open [their] eyes and ask a lot of questions. We know that to find the answers, we must keep reading, contemplating and synthesizing the information around us.”

-Xiaofei, Executive Vice President of Product and Service Delivery, EF English First

“Be a sponge. When you are new to something, ask questions, observe, find people you want to emulate and get to know them. Constantly explore what excites you and, alternatively, what takes energy away from you in your day-to-day. This is the key to navigating career decisions—a growing self-awareness of what will make you happiest and where you can add the most value.”

-Ashley, Vice President, EF Educational Tours

“When you hesitate, just do—take action. From my experience, I know that you will not regret it when you take action. From time to time, I hesitate to wake up on cold mornings to go to boxing training. When in doubt, my rule is to just get out of bed and go. I’ve never regretted that [or thought], ‘Oh, I should have slept in.’ I hate regretting not doing things and missing an opportunity to win.”

-Maiko, Marketing Manager, EF Language

“Life is a journey and it’s OK to zigzag. Your first job doesn’t have to be your last. You need to understand what you like, what you dislike, what you value and what you prioritize. How do you do that? By trying [things]! Not just [at] work, but in dating, traveling, volunteering, leisure activities…all of this will allow you to understand yourself better and help you find happiness. So start now!”

-SeonJoo, Vice President Asia, EF Academy