As the Partner Agency Scheme grows, we thought you'd like to find out a little more about our recognised partner agencies.
In this issue of the Partner Agency Newsletter, our guest is Rahmi Mesud Yilmaz, a director of Atlas Private Educational Services in Turkey, which was established in 1990. The Istanbul-based organisation joined the Partner Agency Scheme in 2011.
Hello Rahmi. How did you become a study abroad agent?
I started as a counsellor when I was a final year BA student and working part time. I completed my BA, did my Master's and am now doing my PhD in industrial engineering. I joined the company 13 years ago and have been a partner since 2004, and I lecture at the university. I am lucky. It started with a part time job in the summer holiday.
What do you like about your job?
The best thing about the job is helping people, counselling them about something that will affect their career and life. It's very exciting! it's not like counselling them about which car or house to buy, this is much more meaningful and also these people remember you throughout life. They visit you later on. It's like being a teacher.
If you do a job really well and you know what you are doing it will attract other students and you get great job satisfaction. If you are attracting students with income as a priority, then it's just a job and it will be really boring. It's going to be a business. But for me it's about helping people and being a proper counsellor, not selling something. It's about helping them with their choice not selling something and asking for money.
How do you help students to make their decisions?
No programme is 100 per cent perfect for everybody. There's the cost, the city, the climate. Every student has their own expectation, you tell them the differences but we don't make the choices for them. I have to understand student priorities and alternatives. There's a lot of fun in it.
What made you decide to join the Partner Agency Scheme?
We thought it would be a good idea to have a closer relationship with English UK and to learn more about the industry. We're happy getting information from English UK and it's good to have a better relationship with such a huge school organisation. Our main destination is language students to the UK, so it's perfect.
We would love to hear from other recognised Partner Agencies who would like to be interviewed for this newsletter. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.