180 Faces of Macmillan
In celebration of Macmillan's 180th anniversary, we launched the 180 Faces Of Macmillan Initiative. Through this initiative, everyone at Macmillan Education has the opportunity to share, celebrate, and benefit from one of our biggest values - diversity. Our unique backgrounds, experiences, and passions combined together have incredible power! Our aim is to motivate people by sharing our experiences and embracing our diverse backgrounds. Check out our inspiring stories below.
Super Huang, China
Hi there, all lovely Macmillanites across the world! I’m Super Huang, the Regional Senior Academic Consultant & Teacher Trainer based in Shanghai. You might find my name fascinating, but kind of weird as well. Like many other students in China, I was called Amy for years, a name typically given by English teachers in primary schools. But one of my best friends started calling me Super in high school because the last character in my Chinese name means super and she thought I was super! That’s the beginning of the story. Since then, every time I tell someone my name, I can see some mixed feelings on their faces lol. But the good thing is, it’s very easy to impress people and they can definitely remember my name effortlessly. This is my 5th year at Macmillan Education and I absolutely love it! In the first 2 years of my journey here, my life was full of business travels and face-to-face training events. We all know what happened afterwards: COVID hit the world and we lived a very different life in the next 3 years. There're a lot of ups and downs, and it was hard to get through. However, I felt very well supported by the team and the whole company. I benefited hugely from the well-being programs provided and the life-work-balance policies. And due to that, fortunately, I have found a passion for sport again in cycling. I started cycling regularly after the release of the lockdown in Shanghai last year. Cycling has become the way I commute on weekdays and the way to explore the city on weekends. I have also met a group of lovely people to cycle together, and we call ourselves cozyriders.
Sherry Wang, China
I am Sherry Wang and I have been with Macmillan on and off for 6 years. I would like to share my adventures with my dog, a three-year-old black Shiba, Koru. I began participating in one of our local Spartan Races which featured running the race with your dog since she was 1 year old. I skipped one race last year to give birth and resumed the race this year. I was actually amazed by how she's been so brave to go through all the obstacles and challenges during the race. We were all wet in the mud the first year, but she was racing like a real dog. Sometimes, I feel conflicted that we human beings raise pets which may eliminate their nature, so I make the most of my time and energy to let Koru go back to nature. When she was in the race with me, I felt like she was truly herself and we were No.1 crossing the finishing line, together with all other middle-sized dogs, like Labrador and Golden Retriever!
Ebenéser Gueiros, Brazil
I really like to feel useful to the society where I live. I was very impacted and inspired by the solidarity action that Springer carried out during the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war, removing employees with full support from the conflict zone. Congratulations to everyone involved in this story of love and compassion. Just unforgettable!!!
Josadac Flores Perez, Mexico
I try to find a balance between Self and Community, believing that in the search for that balance, everything else falls in place. I’d like to share a simple and fulfilling Community project that I’ve been part of, for the past 2 years. When I moved to my new home in Mexico City, I found a group of neighbors who were organizing a “Tequio”, community work, concept/ term from original communities in the Americas. The objective of the “Tequio” is to rescue an urban garden with the purpose of regaining community pride, bringing back pollinators to the area, and inspiring other neighbours to join. A couple of hours on Saturday mornings became a space of learning and sharing with my new community, soon enough other neighbours joined us, some with physical work, others by donating tools or home-cooked breakfasts. The connection to my new home has become stronger and I found out something new about myself; I enjoy gardening.
Sinfwa Simiyandi Cosmas, Namibia
I, Sinfwa Simiyandi Cosmas, started working for Macmillan in 2022 as a warehouse assistant, in my period of being with the company I have learned a lot about handling and packing of educational books. Our main responsibility in the warehouse is receiving the stock and dispatching books into regional offices, government schools, private schools, vocational training centres and universities country-wide. I like making sure that the books are packed well and will not be damaged during transit. Macmillan is a very good company to work for. I was very happy when the company sent me and my colleagues for training in fork-lift operation, basic fire-fighting and basic first-aid. This improved our skills and knowledge and makes our daily work at Macmillan much easier and safer. I love what I do and am proud to be part of this amazing team.
Kgomotso Mothala, South Africa
I'm very passionate about sports, particularly rugby and football. Being South African I support the Springboks, and with football I enjoy watching the English Premier League and I support Chelsea. My love for sports has brought me a lot of joy, especially in recent years. I enjoy watching games with family and friends and I especially enjoy all the conversations and comradery that comes with being a sports fanatic. It’s a great way for me to spend my time either with company or by myself. I’ve watched the Springboks play during the Rugby World Cup at fan parks with my brother and I’ve also enjoyed watching some games at the office when the Springboks were competing and went on to win! I also love Chelsea FC very much. I recently started posting some content on TikTok reacting to some games.
Augusto Di Marco, Spain
Though sometimes is difficult to handle how time flyes, not long ago I realized this year is 40 years since I begin to work in the so called "book industry". I am still doing so today, when I have the privilege of working in a publishing house with such a prestige, history and heritage such as Macmillan Education, now becoming 180 years old!
Do you see how time flies? There are many reasons to celebrate, I guess. Print books or digital content, education or culture, ancient skills or the latest cutting edge, I do believe this job is an amazing source of knowledge, a perfect field to innovate and a real tool to foster change in our society.
All that is truly inspirational for me in many ways, and I hope it is like that for most of us, on a daily basis.
Edna Tibério, Brazil
Art is a tremendous source of inspiration, reflection and joy in my life. It takes me deep into my personal development. I feel like it clears my head as it makes me forget all sense of time and space. And when I say art I mean anything that comes naturally to me: drawing, painting, dancing, gardening… Art gives meaning to my life and I always experience a wave of emotions whenever I do any of these things. I’ve been working right now as an academic consultant at Macmillan Education Brazil but I used to work as an English teacher. Besides, I hold a degree in Visual Communication. In the classroom, I always tried to bring art to it as I do believe kids naturally connect thoughts, words and images long before they master the skill of writing. While using art, learners transfer all this visual content into new ideas and add personal experiences to create new things. It has a pure intrinsic value and help them to have a deeper understanding of their emotions as it increases their self-awareness. By expressing ourselves, we get a wonderful and pleasurable experience and opportunity to share something with the world. And this is absolutely rewarding! Give it a try!
Sarah Wild, United Kingdom
I’ve always been active. I enjoyed all sports at school and uni, including running, but those runs became somewhat sporadic once I entered the world of work. I wasn’t exactly consistent. However, during lockdown in 2020 I set myself a challenge to run (nearly) every day. I found that my runs provided a distraction to what was happening around us, and gave me grounding. Over time, the runs got a little longer, and a little faster, and I became amazed at the difference they made both to my physical and my mental health. I felt more confident, more resilient, more focussed. I kept going. Post lockdown I started entering 10k races and I now try to book one or two a month - they give me a goal to work towards and I love running as part of a large collective after training on my own during the week. The atmosphere at races is brilliant - a real sense of us all being ‘in it together’. Running doesn’t discriminate. You can be a runner regardless of background, age, or ability. I’ve met some truly inspiring people, all with their own stories and reasons for running; and there is also no feeling like crossing that finish line or achieving a PB! Above all, running has taught me to push forward, especially in the most difficult times. If I can convince myself to just keep putting one foot in front of the other, then I can run as far as I want to. To me, that’s an inspiring thought for navigating life generally. And, on those particularly bad days, I remind myself of one of my favourite running quotes:‘’It never gets easier, you just get better at tolerating it.’’ Often that, and a run, is all it takes to feel better.
The photo is from the 'Spitfire 10k' run held last year in memory of RAF pilots who lost their lives during WW1 and WW2. We ran with the names of deceased pilots on our backs. It was pretty inspiring!
Norma Brand, Namibia
Hi, my name is Norma Brand, I'm an employee of Macmillan since January 2006. I started here as a receptionist/PA to the MD, Herman van Wyk at that time. I am a bubbly, friendly and funny person, an extrovert. I love working with people and helping people. What makes me very happy is when a customer walks into our shop for the first time after having looked for it for a long time and I am able to assist them. The training that we get here at Macmillan helped me to get to know my strengths and also what I can do to improve my skills. In the beginning, it was all about selling books and making money, but now I'm focused on getting to know the customer and understand their needs so I can help them better and make a lasting impression on them.
Thapelo Mofokeng, South Africa
I am privileged to be part of Macmillan Education in South Africa! Macmillan is not only passionate about advancing education in schools, but it also cares about advancing us, its people. In 2021, at the height of the brutal global pandemic, Macmillan sponsored me to further my studies, and through their support and encouragement from my colleagues, I obtained an advanced qualification in Digital Marketing, coming out the top of my class and obtaining a cum laude. It's been two years since I completed this course, but Macmillan has not stopped supporting and advancing our careers. They have introduced us to eConsultancy, an online company at the heart of the digital marketing and e-commerce community – bringing fresh perspectives, deep insights and expertise on this subject matter. This contribution continues to seal the deal of advancement and ensures we continue to thrive in our work. What an exciting experience?!
Ayanda Nkunzi, South Africa
As a Provincial Sales Representative in the Easter Cape Province, I am always passionate about boldly presenting MSA range of Material and Resources which are so rich in curriculum content. Through events such as Exhibitions, Literacy Days, Bookseller Days, Spelling Bees, National Teacher Awards etc. I get to interact with a diverse customer base that ranges from Department of Education Directorate, District Officials, Public Schools Principals & Staff, Early Childhood Development Centers & Practitioners, TVET Colleges, Libraries, Book sellers, corporate companies and learners. This position allows for extensive travels around the province, meeting and adapting to different people, places and diverse cultures and be deliberate to creating networks and lasting relations which translate into revenue, as they purchase MSA material and view us as a preferred Publisher. What inspires me the most is: their hunger for knowledge and the fact that as a business we can efficiently meet their need with our MSA offerings either in the form of LTSM (Learning and Teaching Support Material) of all our approved CAPS and RESOURCES as well as Macmillan Teacher Campus Qualifications, Quality Assured and Approved Trainings and Workshops.
Erika Pérez, Mexico
Cycling is my passion.
When I discovered cycling I knew how much I like to see places by riding a bicycle for long hours looking at beautiful landscapes. I have been training constantly for 3 years and I am passionate about pushing myself in the cold, in the heat, in the mountains or against the wind. I'm right now training for my next competition in November on the beautiful beaches of Cancun, Mexico
Andrea Damasco, Brazil
My name is Andrea Damasco, I've been working for Macmillan for almost 10 years and I'll be 60 this year. I decided to incorporate some activities into my daily routine and called them my "60 Years Project". I decided to lose weight, go back to the gym, sing and, amazingly, take kung fu lessons. My aim is to prove to myself that I'm still capable of staying active, vibrant and youthful in my old age. I don't feel old like many people from my parents' generation, I can still do a lot and I want to do a lot. Another important detail is that, at this age, I'll be able to get discounts on various cultural activities (theatre, cinema, concerts, travel). Isn't that great? My goal for next year is to sign up for the reality TV show "The Voice Mais". I'm going to realise my dream of becoming a real singer. Finally, I hope to inspire many new people to stay active and alive, to leave the online world and really live in the present!
Lethu Baloyi, South Africa
I was raised by my grandfather, and he was a stern, often unsmiling man through my childhood. In my teenage years he softened up and we had quite the bond. I struggled to find employment, and when I got my first job that required me to relocate, he took his walking stick and shuffled through the entire airport, just to see me off and say goodbye. His love for me and encouraging words through difficult times inspire me to keep going.