Steve Patton - Director of Marketing
Steve is a travel enthusiast that calls Boston home, though he spends as much time on the road as he does in any one place these days. He's part of the marketing team at LanguageCorps, a freelance writer, and has also toured the world as a drummer in several different bands. He’s trying to become a better photographer, and Japan is next on his travel wishlist!
LanguageCorps is sort of a family business. As a Patton, were you predispositioned to work in the TESOL/teach abroad field, or was it something you had an interest in?
My father Jerry founded the business in 2003, so both me and my brother Mike had always been causally involved in one way or another. I’ve always loved traveling, so after I graduated from college and spent some time teaching in Southeast Asia, becoming more involved with the business was a totally natural fit!
Your role focuses on the coordination of marketing efforts, what does a typical day look like as Director of Marketing?
We’re a small team, so everyone at the company has to wear a lot of hats, which is exciting. My job includes everything from SEO and content creation, to social media, advertising, and interacting with clients and program participants.
How does social media play into your marketing efforts? How do you go about connecting with teachers and prospective TESOL participants on your channels?
We’ve always been active on social media, and it continues to play an increasingly important role in not just LanguageCorps, but the whole industry. It’s really exciting to see our teachers share their experiences from their time teaching English abroad, through photos, videos, facebook, twitter, and blogs, etc. Social networks are a great way for current participants to stay connected, and for people thinking about teaching abroad to learn more about what they might be getting into!
You’ve traveled extensively through Asia, Europe, and Latin America, based on your experiences in these places, where is the best place to teach abroad? Why is it the best?
It all depends on personal preference really! In terms of demand for teachers, Asia is consistently strong, but there is opportunity throughout Latin America, Europe and the Middle East as well.
Your background is in music (you play the drums), are you able to bring your skills in this area to your work with LanguageCorps at all? Do you and your brother Mike ever play together?
Me and Mike have jammed together a bit - but it’s been a while! We should do it more often :) I’ve gotten to travel a lot through music, and I’d like to think that has certainly been helpful in my work with LanguageCorps. Touring is a pretty unique lifestyle, sometimes stressful...you really learn how to live simply. But at the end of the day its also very rewarding, not so different from teaching English abroad in some ways!
What’s the most fulfilling part of your role as Director of Marketing for LanguageCorps?
I always love hearing from current and former LanguageCorps teachers. Seeing what they are up to...from grad school to teaching jobs in the states, to people that wind up getting married abroad and relocating permanently, it’s awesome hearing about how teaching abroad can change people’s lives.
If you had to hop on a plane tomorrow to teach abroad, where would you go and why?
Good question. We’re buried under a million feet of snow in Boston, so it’s tempting to say somewhere in Latin America, maybe Costa Rica. But, I would also love to return to Southeast Asia too!
You’re a Bostonian, which is not a cheap place to call home, what destinations would you recommend for teachers who are looking to save or make money (rather than break even)?
Asia is the best region to save some money right now. Demand is strong, and the cost of living is very low, so teachers can do really well in locations like Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, and Taiwan.
What’s on the horizon for LanguageCorps? Anything we should know about?
We’ll be adding some new locations in 2015, and we’re always posting stories from current and former teachers at our blog!