Over the past few weeks of Hermiona’s whirlwind tour around the world (Moscow, Kiev, and now Miami), I’ve gotten to thinking about what is it that makes our team “tick,” so speak. People at every seminar and every event have left with an understanding of the benefits of education in the US — but perhaps they don’t all understand quite why we are so dedicated to helping their children achieve it.
Nearly anyone, when asked, would say that they want to help students from around the world make their dreams come true. It’s a pretty easy thing to agree to — and it’s something that anyone can get behind.
But not everyone, when asked, is ready to take that job on for themselves. It’s a lot of responsibility: applications, interviews, standardized tests, essays — in addition to nerves, hopes, and dreams. Every individual on the Hermiona team is a special kind of person in that each one of us takes this process upon ourselves. We personally feel responsible for our students’ success.
And our students come from far and wide (the United States, the UK, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and more) — and their success comes in all shapes and sizes. For some students, it means that they gain the skills they need for fluent public speaking in English. For others, it means that they are accepted to a top-40 university in the United States. And in one of my personal favorite examples, a student I worked with finally gained the confidence to write whole paragraphs in French — when she previously struggled to put together sentences.
As we build a relationship — whether I be helping them apply to university, boarding school, or a summer program or helping them prepare for a test — I see firsthand how they grow and develop. And, as a teacher (of sorts), I take the greatest joy in this. I suppose that it’s not all altruistic; I do, after all, like the feeling of being a good pedagogue. Nonetheless, seeing my students’ lives become richer through their new knowledge and experiences is one of the reasons why I love my job at Hermiona so much. Almost no other place would let me take such an active part in my students’ future.
And I think all my colleagues would agree with me. We think about how to help our students constantly. (I personally like to think of new strategies for tutoring for the SAT while I’m at the gym…) We all feel personally invested in their success, even if we are as individuals so very different.
When I look at the Hermiona team, I am often amazed by the number of individuals committed to helping students thrive. We’ve had a wealth of different experiences which help us to understand where every student is coming from. We’ve lived all over the world, from Kazakhstan to Turkey to New Zealand. We’ve studied at universities like Princeton, MIT, Middlebury, Georgetown, Harvard, University of Chicago, Yale, Stanford and more. Collectively, we speak over fifteen languages. Some of us are scientists; some of us are historians. But we are all 100% committed to our students.
It’s a privilege to be surrounded by such people — most companies don’t offer you the opportunity to interact with team members as accomplished and driven as ours. But most companies also don’t offer you the opportunity to work with students as committed to growing and learning as ours.
As you visited (or perhaps will visit!) our events, I hope that you not only learned about how your child can benefit from an education abroad, but also got a feel for why the members of the Hermiona team do what they do. It’s not just a job for us — it’s an opportunity to take part in building our students’ successful futures.