Five minutes with… Ian Boyle
Ian Boyle, Head of English Development
What were you doing before you discovered Atlas?
I was born in Edinburgh and moved to China to work as an English teacher in 2001. I then moved to Vietnam where I headed up the Australian Centre for Education and Training, a language school linked to the University of Technology Sydney.
I then joined RMIT University Vietnam, a global university of technology, design and enterprise as a Senior Learning Advisor and Teacher Trainer where I also coordinated peer assisted learning programs to encourage people to learn collectively.
How long have you been at Atlas?
18 months: I joined in January 2017.
Tell me about your role?
I am responsible for English language development – supporting our people to develop the level of English required to work with our global client base. I also run courses on skills such as business emailing and presenting.
I assess employees’ English language levels when they join Atlas and may invite them to join one of the six weekly classes run across a range of levels. Up to one third of employees attend classes at any one time – I’m busy! Colleagues may also choose to attend one of my drop-in classes focused on listening or pronunciation. I try to ensure everyone has an opportunity to improve their English.
What makes you happy about your role?
I love that my work is geared towards practical learning rather than gaining qualifications. Even small improvements make big changes to Atlas’ people in their day jobs.
What are the biggest challenges of your role?
Forming classes to reflect the changing needs of a business means I have to be flexible. When a large project starts, or new people join Atlas, their ability to attend classes may change or demand for classes may increase. I work with Atlas’ HR and Personal Development Director Tim Clements and with managers to anticipate company needs.
What (if anything) surprised you about Atlas?
Probably the range and scale of projects – they do small as well as multi-million dollar projects and have a real range of clients
Have you ever…
Been in the Digital Cave?
Tried on a HoloLens headset?
Yes – it’s near impossible to avoid in Asia (and I’ve been here over 17 years now).
Owned a motorbike?
No, I’m quite the exception here.
Outside of work I like to…
This may be a bit boring, but just spend time with my wife and friends over dinner and drinks.
Tell me one thing your colleagues don’t know about you (yet?)
This is probably unexpected for a teacher – I hated school! English most of all! I went to university as a mature student in my mid-20s and never finished, then returned in my 30s with a real love of learning.