Photo: Nicoletta Pinto (centre) with new guard.me colleagues Jamie Hampson and David Girecourt.
For today’s interview we had the pleasure to speak with Nicoletta Pinto, guard.me’s new Account Manager for Europe. Nicoletta is a familiar face in our industry as she has previously worked in the language school sector in Spain. Today, we shall find out more about her move to guard.me and about her new role within this organisation and what it entails.
1. Nicoletta, you’ve been in the education travel industry for quite a while. How long exactly, and what pushed you to join it in the first place?
I have been in the education travel industry for more than 9 years. I had a passion for learning foreign languages since I was a kid and my parents supported my eagerness to learn by enrolling me in summer camp programs from the age of 13. I always found the experience of travelling and learning languages very enriching, especially when you start as a kid or teenager. Later, when I was offered a role to work for a language school in the sales department, I found it a great opportunity to combine work with my passion for travelling and dealing with people from all around the world.
2. Most of us remember you working in a language school in Spain. How has the change from school to the most significant insurance provider in our industry been for you?
I am not going to hide that I had some doubts about working for an insurance provider. Working for a language school was a very exciting experience as I was involved in many areas, from creating new products and brochures for group programs to travelling abroad to meet and train our partners. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how dynamic working for guard.me International Insurance is. The global team has made me feel very welcome and I now realize there are many interesting aspects to the insurance industry. This will be the first time that I can really focus on student well-being and safety and I am really excited to meet and support all of our current and future partners in Europe.
3. How, in your opinion, will your previous role help you in your new job?
Thanks to my previous role, I got to know many different markets across Europe, Asia, North and Latin America. Understanding the needs of each of them along with the good relationships I have developed with numerous agencies and schools will certainly help me in my new role. Moreover, after working for a language school for so many years, I am very familiar with the priorities and needs not only of the schools and agencies but also for students and their families. In fact, I deeply believe my new role can have a positive impact on ensuring the security of students travelling abroad, which is has becoming increasingly important around the world.
4. How has your experience with guard.me so far helped you to improve and grow as a professional?
It was not easy to take the decision to leave my comfort zone after so many years. However, after meeting the guard.me executive team in person I knew it was the right fit. Getting to know a new service and starting fresh while still using my experience in the industry to better understand the needs of our customers is a highly motivating aspect of the job. Moreover, as an insurance provider, I will now deal with a wider range of schools and agencies (before it was restricted to those dealing with the Spanish language), and I will be able to improve and grow my expertise in the industry.
Read the full interview in Schools & Agents.