A portrait of Jeremy Blanchard

Working in the Migros Group

Jeremy's journey from language student to Club School employee

Born in Australia and now a resident of Basel, Jeremy Blanchard (42) learned German at the Migros Club School. Today, he works as a Product Manager for Languages. How this came about and where the challenges lie.

From
Barbara Scherer
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What we do

You studied theology in Australia and now work at the Club School. How did this come to pass?

I grew up in Australia and studied a number of subjects there, including theology. I moved to Switzerland in 2006 for my wife. At the time, I was only able to speak English and Spanish, so I immediately began taking part in an intensive German course at the Migros Club School. I then worked as an English teacher at various companies for a number of years. Eventually, I joined the Club School. In 2014, a position as a teaching assistant became available at the Basel branch of the Club School and I thus gained permanent employment there.

You now work as a Product Manager for Languages. What does this involve?

I asked myself the same question when I started," he says while laughing. "Following a restructure, the Club School is now part of Miduca AG. Previously, the language courses held at the Club School were organised on a regional basis. Now, they have been standardised across Switzerland. Following this change, I am now responsible for organising the English and Spanish courses. This means that my team and I determine which teaching materials are used, how long courses run and which customers we want to target with our courses.

That sounds challenging…

It is, indeed. There has been an issue of provincial thinking here in the past. A change in culture is now required, but that doesn't just happen overnight. Time and patience are key here. We are also increasingly reliant on online courses. The needs of our customers have changed since the coronavirus pandemic. However, this doesn't discourage me. Through my work, I'm getting to know every region in Switzerland and constantly meeting new people – this is something I enjoy.

Does this mean you're not teaching at the moment?

At present, no. However, I do miss it a little. As I'm employed on a 70% part-time basis, I'm considering teaching an English course this year because I like having direct contact with our customers and it offers a refreshing change from working at a desk. That's what's great about working at Migros – I have so many opportunities here and can put my own ideas forward. This would not be possible in a smaller language school.

Are you thinking about joining the Migros Group? You can look forward to these benefits.