To start us off, this month I’d like to introduce you to Paul Gibson, our Sales Manager. Many of you will have met him or corresponded with him over the years, and if you haven’t, well here’s your opportunity to find out who he is and what he does and what he likes to do outside of his work life. I took some time to sit with him and ask him a few questions.
What do you do for English in Action?
I am English in Action’s Sales Manager and I work in a team of 3 alongside Nick and Trevor.
Can you tell me a bit about your role?
My role is quite varied. I am a point of contact for schools and teachers. As we have quite a few course options, my job is to inform interested schools about what we do and what courses we offer, we can offer them that best suit their needs.
I am also involved in following up on courses and making sure that everything has gone well. I spend a lot of time on the phone, sending emails and increasingly more time on Whatsapp, which is a really quick way to answer questions that teachers have.
I plan trips overseas to attend conferences and visit schools for meetings with teachers as well as delivering demonstration lessons for students. My work can also include delivering teacher workshops and parent presentations. As you can see, it keeps me pretty busy!
What did today look like for you?
Well, like most days at 7.00 am – My alarm goes off and it’s time to get my two sons up and ready for school, but only after my snappy cup of coffee!
8.00 am – I usually check my emails while eating my toast and today I also made a quick phone call from home to a school in NRW Germany to answer a few questions they had about their course dates and how to introduce the course to their students. With the one-hour time difference in the UK, I am often on the phone quite early to catch teachers in their first break time.
9.00 am – I arrive at Canterbury HQ after dropping my kids off at school, and I spent time this morning replying to some emails that were sent overnight
10.30 am – I lead a planning meeting with Trevor and Nick to decide on which trips we will be doing in the coming months, who will go where, and discussed which schools have contacted us for visits. I love this part of my job; it is really exciting planning trips and I love meeting and speaking to new people and students face-to-face.
11.30 am – I answered a few WhatsApp messages from teachers who prefer to message than email, this is an increasingly more common way of communicating these days, it’s instant and helps get things sorted quicker than by email.
12.00 pm – I spent some time preparing an email mailshot to send to schools about our special 3-day exam preparation courses for the spring.
1 pm – Lunch!! it’s great working in the centre of Canterbury with all the food options. Today, I walked around the corner to try out a new Mexican place called ‘Tortilla’ on Canterbury High Street with a take-out burrito…yum!
2.00 pm – A call to an Italian school to find out if they are ready to send in their winter school booking form. My Italian is awful but the secretary was very understanding and put me in touch with the right person!
3.00 pm – I am planning a trip to the east of Austria in the next few months, so I spent some time looking at maps and planning where I need to be on which days. Many people love google maps these days, but I still love working from a paper map I can hold in my hands.
4.00 pm – The school run is done, and I spend a little more time at home answering any final emails that have come through. Today it was an email from Japan about a possible March course in Tokyo….umm I wouldn’t mind teaching that one myself!
When did you join the company?
I originally joined in 2005 and worked in the Operations team recruiting teachers for English in Action. I also taught overseas on many courses too (I have taught in more than 10 countries for English in Action). I left for a couple of years to teach PE (Physical Education) at an Italian international school in Padova, Italy. I re-joined in 2009 in my current role for English in Action.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your work?
My job is so varied, and I love the variety the role brings. Another key part for me is meeting people, and this is a great job for that. I love travelling overseas and getting in my hire car and visiting different schools during the day and meeting/chatting with teachers. Meeting students and doing short demonstration lessons are a lot of fun and I enjoy the positive enthusiasm and energy from the kids.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I used to be a PE teacher, so I love my sports. I go running, play “Vets Football” and run my son’s under-11 football team. Living in Canterbury is also great. You have a coastline on three sides, and I spend a lot of time on our bikes or scooters with the kids on long sea walks.
What music are you listening to on Spotify at the moment?
I like most music really, especially Indie music. My favourite group is Massive Attack, but currently, I am listening to a Californian Indie band called Warpaint, who are great.
What would your dream job be?
As a lifelong Liverpool FC fan, of course, playing as their centre-forward has always been my dream!
What’s your favourite food?
I have recently bought an outdoor pizza oven and we love cooking wood-fired pizzas in the garden…even in the rain!
To contact Paul directly for any enquiries about English in Action, our courses and special offers email him at: