Deb is back at our ESL School
Deb Leeming left CultureWorks in September last year. Spending more time with children and grandchildren was the reason.
Fair enough for Deb and her family. But sad news for CultureWorks.
That changed in August, however, when it was announced that “Deb is back.” Her part-time role will be that of the CW Agent Relations guru.
What Deb is up to now that She’s Returned to Our ESL School
“Part time” for Deb Leeming has taken her to Mexico earlier in October to attend the CLASS Education Congress of Canadian Colleges and Universities; to Berlin in late October for the three-day ICEF Berlin Workshop; and to Miami in December where she will join CultureWorks President Tina Bax for the final ICEF event for the year.
“I can tell you that the agent response to Deb’s participation has been overwhelming (and positive),” Tina said. “We’ve had a good number of applications in the past month ‘because Deb is back.’”
Deb Discusses the ICEF Berlin Event
We caught up with Deb in Berlin where she was in the middle of the ICEF Berlin event where 2,764 participants from 104 countries are attending, Oct. 29-31.
ICEF officials say more than 1,000 selected agents conduct one-on-one business meetings with educators and service providers from various educational sectors. In total, more than 27,000 pre-scheduled meetings are conducted over the final two days.
“The scheduled appointments are like 25-minute speed dating appointments and they begin tomorrow (Monday), so this afternoon I have been attending information seminars and running into people that I know and those that I don’t,” Deb said from Berlin on Sunday.
Deb said the event is critical in forging relationships. “These events not only allow me to touch base with some of our existing agents but also, through random meetings and conversations, one often forms valuable and unexpected relationships.
“Of course, I hope to make some new contacts with agents through the scheduled appointments.”
Those “contacts” have led to many interesting observations.
Deb Offers Insights Into Changes Affecting ESL Schools
Deb said she spoke with Maura Leao, President of Belta, from Brazil, both before and after her presentation Sunday.
“Maura stated that the Brazilian economy is improving and that Canada is the #1 choice for students (almost 2,000 in 2016). ESL is the most requested program,” Deb said.
Deb said that Joshua Tripp, President of AMTE Mexico noted that Canada is the #1 market for Mexicans and that summer camps, followed by English as a second language school, are the 2 most popular choices.
“He stated that, for the most part, studying their undergraduate degrees abroad was not yet part of their culture (although studying post-grad is).”
Deb said she attended a seminar with the head of three agent organizations from Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
“They gave short facts about the economic state of their countries, all improving.”
Not improving, however, is how our industry advertises our products, according to Samuel Vetrak of StudentMarketing.
“Instead of us selling/promoting results, solutions, etc., we all simply sell our products,” Deb said. “Something to think about.”
Deb Leeming never stops doing that and as a result, we couldn’t be happier that “Deb is back.”
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