An Interview with Ignatius Endravian: EF China teacher turned EF Indonesia recruiter
When and where did you start teaching?
I first joined EF English First in 2016 at the amazing EF Center for Adults in Guomao, Beijing.
How did you find teaching at EF in China?
Teaching at EF was awesome. I had a supportive work environment and both my colleagues and students helped ensure that I had a bit of fun every day at work. Leaving China behind ended up being an extremely difficult decision to make and I still miss the great times I had there to this day.
Can you elaborate on the work environment in your office?
Definitely. I remember on my first day I walked into an office full of people laughing and having a good time. That first impression was one that spoke of the team’s chemistry and openness with each other. When my senior teachers gave me a run down of my orientation schedule, I was a little nervous about starting to teach solo within just a few day. But with the quality observations, lesson planning advice, co-teaching sessions and quality feedback given, I was up and running on my own in no time. The training and feedback I receieved there was the best I’ve received so far in my career and it’s since made me confident enough to effectively deliver small to medium sized classes or training sessions with limited time and resources.
How and why did you end up moving into recruitment?
As a psychology major during university, I had always wanted to dip my toes into a role within HR or organisational design. It was a wonderful surprise when I found out that EF was hiring international recruiters in Indonesia – one of the top countries on my list to live and work in. With a lot of preparation, perseverence and a bit of luck with timing I landed the role and began recruiting in early 2018.
Which country do you prefer? China or Indonesia?
Both are extraordinary places to work and live.
When I was in China I loved the challenge of learning and speaking Chinese every day – I set the challenge to learn as much as I could and I’m proud at how far I came. Chinese technology was what really impressed me – having the convenience of Beijing’s subway system just a short shared-bike ride away from virtually any part of the city and not having to worry about cash or even my apartment keys was a really nice treat. I miss going to 7-Eleven for cheap and healthy lunches particularly it’s choices of 西红柿鸡蛋 (xihongshi jidan – tomato & egg), 豆腐 (doufu – tofu) and 茄子 (qiezi – eggplant) and I also miss having the luxury of digging into some of Beijing’s mouthwatering meat skewers and unique peppercorn flavoured dishes that were scattered across the city.
Indonesia on the other hand, has a wide range of satay based dishes readily available on most street corners as well as a nice selection of sweet deserts and drinks for those sweet toothed foodies on a budget. I can’t not mention the convenience of GoJek, Indonesia’s first ever unicorn startup and the country’s main provider of ride-hailing motorbike services. These kind of services are the weapon of choice for myself and many other Jakartans as the battle with it’s terrifying traffic jams is one that all must prepare for. Other things worth mentioning would be Indonesia’s warm climate all year round – which is one of the reasons I think locals are so warm and friendly – and the local language Bahasa Indonesia isn’t a very difficult language to pick up.
I honestly can’t say I have a preference!
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