Cecilly Author EF
Cecilly Francisco

After graduating with a Business Management degree with a focus on Marketing in 2014, being in a classroom in China kids teaching English wasn’t what I envisioned myself doing 4 years from then. As I looked at the options post-graduation, it narrowed to two options (these may sound familiar!)

a) Begin working in the field I graduated in.

b) Go immediately into grad school.

Nearing completion of my degree, I started to be interested in the field of education, but not enough that I would start over and pursue it (been there?). Because going immediately into grad school for teaching seemed daunting, I decided to take the secure job offer I had received in my field and go with my option (a).

And so began my career in hospitality management, working as a Front Office Manager at Marriott in Cleveland, Ohio and then Ritz-Carlton in downtown Washington D.C.

While having professional sports teams stay, holding the door for an actor or two, and interacting with top-government and business leaders was enjoyable, I looked at career growth options and wanted to grow in a different industry.

One day in talking to a friend, he told me he was moving abroad for work and I responded: “I wish I could work abroad!” That phrase stuck with me and I asked myself, “Who is stopping you from working abroad? Only you.” Knowing I wanted to change my industry, I decided to revisit my bottled-up passion for teaching, and I wanted to do it abroad.

I was boarding a plane on a week-long vacation to Costa Rica with a best friend that I searched “teaching abroad”. EF kept coming up as a major, reputable company. I continued to research EF specifically on other sites and applied before I touched down in Costa Rica. (I’d say that $4.99 WIFI charge was well-spent.)

Once I returned from my vacation and had secure WIFI, I had my first video interview and fell deeper in love with the prospect. I had narrowed my preference of country to China because it is a country and region of the world so fascinating to me and previously un-visited.

I received my acceptance and worked through the visa process. Once in-country, I took every opportunity for growth. I joined the Teacher Ambassador team and assisted new teachers arriving in-country to settle in. I began presenting demo classes at my center for prospective parents wanting to enroll their children with EF, and revisited my business management skillset in training teachers at my center, rolling out a new National Geographic curriculum, and managing the 30+ iPads our center used in the classroom.

After experiencing the classroom setting, I found a perfect balance for me of business and education and took a role with EF as a Recruiter. The growth opportunities with EF have been tremendous and I enjoy sharing my experience in hopes it resonates and I can help others on their EF journey.

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