Thursday 20 September 2007

The Wall Street Institute Paris

The worst interview I ever had happened some 18 years ago while in Madrid when I went for a job at the Wall Street Institute. I'd spoken to arrange the interview by phone and had talked to someone with a deep husky voice who explained a few things about the role to me.

When I arrived at the school I was led into a room and was confronted by a sizeable black American woman. After the usual pleasenteries I said that I had spoken to her colleague over the phone and he had told me x, y and z.
She stared at me for a moment and then said in a quite aggravated manner that 'it was me you spoke to'. I got out of there as quick as I could.

The Wall Street Institute is like the Starbucks of language schools. You'll find many in Paris and their advertising is everywhere notably in the Metro where the ad claims (usually showing a photo of a businessman punching the air in delight) that their students have a '97% success rate'. That is, on their own internal test. Wasn't it Disraeli who said that "There are lies, damn lies and statistics"

One of the students where I teach English in Paris used to go to the Wall Street Institute. He hated it. Basically he spent most of the time in front of a computer doing exercises and once in a while a teacher would come by to check things. He paid a lot of money but got nowhere so he came to us.

If I could just convince a few more of the Wall Street Institute's clients in Paris to come to my classes instead (perhaps 3%) then I might start to make a decent living here.

Post script: After posting the above I came across this interesting website about the Wall Street Institute in Paris and elsewhere TEFL blacklist - Wall Street Institute

Post post script: I recorded this skit called not the Wall Street Institute Paris


Anonymous said...

Iam apalled by the tasteless add in the metro in which a young woman with an inane expression is sticking out her tongue on which is painted an American flag. Is this supposed to be funny, and more than that, would it entice anyone in his right mind to go to that instution for and "education."

Anonymous said...

Yea, but for those of us with over 8 years of teaching experience in English and French, partners in France we'd care not to leave, soon to be paperless, and with none of the other reputable Parisian schools calling . . . that CDI at Wall Street looks better and better everyday. Thank your lucky stars you have a cushy job at somewhere "nicer" my friend.