With over 22 years experience of successfully working for universities and private education companies in the UK, Simon Terrington moved to Colombia where he built and sold MAS Education. Together with Jamie Ash, his co-founder at EdCo LATAM, Simon spotted a growing need for in-country representation in the region and created EdCo LATAM Consulting which brings global education opportunities to a diverse Latin American audience.
What do you like most about your job?
Changing students’ lives and helping make their study ambitions possible.
On a personal note, I have loved the opportunity to work with exceptional people in multiple countries and continents who all make a difference to the student journey.
If you had a magic wand, what would you change?
Racism and the lack of cultural understanding I still see.
Tell us about a defining moment in your international education career.
There have been several but a meeting with Jeremy Histon in a Nairobi bar which subsequently lead to a regional manager job at Navitas stands out. This was my first full time international recruitment role which took me to various countries across Africa and other markets.
Going to Colombia and setting up MAS Education with Andy and Marcela was also career defining and meeting Jamie who became my business partner at EdCo LATAM Consulting.
What was your first proper job in the industry?
Marketing officer at the University of Westminster where Chris Price asked me if I wanted to go to Japan to cover someone who couldn’t make that recruitment visit. What a way to start my career in international recruitment. It really was a sink or swim scenario trying to find my way around train stations in Japan before internet on phones and google translate. You just had to ask a friendly looking person and hope they knew which train to get on.
What keeps you awake at night?
Not much. With a young family and a busy job, I am always ready to sleep quite early.
Proudest career moment?
Setting up the businesses I have co-managed.
What makes you get up in the morning?
The gym or a run. I try and sneak out before my children wake up. This is my time which is important to set me up for the day
Most inspiring international student you’ve met/ helped/ taught?
I enjoy following Andres Mesa who graduated from Leeds Beckett University and has worked as a well-known music producer with some excellent bands (Roxy Music , Gorillaz, Jay Z and Annie Lennox). He’s a special talent. I remember our initial conversations in Bogota and from that to what Andres has achieved is amazing.
Best work trip?
I always enjoyed the Africa trips. Zambia was always special and Sierra Leone was good to see. Travelling around Nigeria was fun back in 2004.
Worst work trip?
Hard to say as I always look at the positives, but the most embarrassing was organising an event for a partner institution back when I had recently arrived in Colombia where no students showed up. Luckily that happened just once.
How did you find yourself working in international education?
I think like most it wasn’t a career plan! I managed to land myself a job in course enquiries at the University of Greenwich when I graduated in 1995. That then turned into a two-year contract as a schools and college liaison. I then moved to the University of Northampton and experienced my first European recruitment trip to the Netherlands and got the travel with work bug. The next stop was the University of Westminster, where I worked as a campus marketing officer which involved some EFL recruitment and a Japan trip.
Biggest challenge to your profession?
Climate change and how we can manage international student recruitment sustainably. I also see a lack of empathy for international students from governments including how to make education more accessible to those without financial resource.
Champion/cheerleader which we should all follow and why?
A champion for me is my Mum. She isn’t on any social media though.
In education, I follow various leaders on LinkedIn. Vicky Lewis writes some really great articles so I can recommend following her.