Gurmeet Kaur

Before arriving to China, I had little idea of what my internship entailed. Having been accepted onto the Teach First programme in the UK (which is modeled on Teach for America), I was keen to gain a deeper insight into the international education sector in order to compare to the situation back in London. The Essential Learning Group seemed a perfect fit.

It’s been a first for my time in China and for doing marketing. At the end of my first day, I couldn’t have been more pleased with my internship. A new and evolving department, the marketing workload has become increasingly important as ELG expands in a different direction. It is exciting to be part of the beginning of something new and to be involved from inception.

At the moment, I am doing market research and website analysis along with putting forward ideas for the monthly newsletters. Taking part in the meetings are a stimulating aspect of the internship; even though it is week one of the internship, I have been given plenty of space to brainstorm and develop ideas for branding and design. I have little experience in marketing yet the encouragement to contribute is much more than would have been the case back home. The opportunity to have weekly one-on-one meetings with my supervisor is going to be especially beneficial for my development.

I enjoy the company culture. Every staff member has their own unique story to share and getting to know their views and opinions is fascinating to compare to my own.

Office space and classrooms situated side by side, there is no distinction between the teachers, therapists, marketers or managers. The children are at the center of the organisation and everyone is part of their learning process.

Over the weekend, I had the opportunity of attending the 2014 ACAMIS conference at Shanghai Community International School in Pudong. This was a great insight into the culture and learning environment of international schools. It consolidated my view that every child deserves an education of that quality.

Since being in China, most people have had a positive reaction to my goals of working in state education. It reinforces my belief that educational inequality is a crime and the need to transform it is imperative. Being at ELG is a privilege as an organization that cares and caters for marginalized children who are not understood in the Chinese community is something that resonates with me. Learning how to individualize the learning of these children is what will be especially useful when I begin my teaching journey in September.