EPeeps Bella Twaites | Product Release Manager

Tell us a bit about yourself! 

For starters, I’m one of those people who completely blanks when asked this question and spirals down the existential rabbithole of “who am I really?”, which is probably quite telling. When I’m not overthinking a simple question, I love to play video games. I picked up a controller for the first time when I was a bit shy of age 4 and never looked back. I always wanted to get into the industry but found I didn’t quite have the talent to be a Designer, and most certainly didn’t have the skills for programming, which my very short stint at university confirmed. I didn’t really know what else that left me with in terms of being in a role that really shaped a game project, so I worked full time in Hospitality for a few years while I tried to figure out what my next steps were.

I then ended up falling into a Customer Support role at Education Perfect where I discovered I also have a passion for the Education sector, in particular, supporting students like me who were disengaged from learning in their final and most pivotal years without a clue as to what they’d excel in as a career or even what pathways were available. If you are/were a student who has received a fair few “is a bright student but needs to apply themselves more” comments on your school reports, I feel you. Fast forward a few years and I’m now a part of Education Perfect’s Product Development team, and it’s all coming together. 

What do you enjoy most about your role?

My professional passions include solving problems (right down to the root), customer advocacy (both internally and externally), and delivering solutions that continuously improve their experience. In my role, I get to do all three! Not always on a daily basis but when those opportunities arise, it’s easily the best part of my day.

Where is somewhere you’d like to visit?

Assuming this is a dream big situation, I’d visit outer space to be honest. I’d love to be one of those people rich enough to inevitably just go on a casual trip to space. No particular reason, space is cool and I have an overwhelming curiosity to know what’s out there. For something slightly more realistic, I would go back to Japan – the school trip I went on years ago was fabulous but I would really like to go back as an adult without a pre-approved itinerary!

What advice would you pass on to a younger version of yourself?

Oof. The list of advice I’d give myself is obscenely long. If I had to pick one specific piece of advice: real ones will let you make your own decisions and mistakes – both being very normal parts of life – and not criticise or make fun of you when you do either. If you find that your closest relationships aren’t letting you grow as a person, they’re not for you.

Tell us your favourite teacher/student story

I was in Year 11 Chemistry, which is a subject that I was not what you’d call gifted at (unless there was some sort of investigation/experiment to be done). We were doing a practical test that involved mixing and heating some chemicals to invoke a reaction. There were some concerns from my classmates that they’d accidentally start a fire, but my teacher said it would be almost impossible to do. Well, I accidentally started a (very small and easily extinguished) fire – still unsure how exactly because I was following the instructions. My teacher wasn’t mad, frankly they were more impressed – after putting out the fire of course. They celebrated my failure rather than punishing me for making a mistake and let me try again. No fires the second time!

What’s one thing that surprised you when you began working at Education Perfect?

How quickly things change and grow. When I started at Education Perfect many many years ago, the platform was totally unrecognisable from the early days (2007) Language Perfect I had used at school. Every year I look back at how much the content and platform has changed and expanded since I started. Same goes for the company itself – the size of the staff roster, the number of users online at a time, and the amount of schools across the globe we now support. It’s nuts, and I’ve never experienced anything like it.

What is your secret talent?

I didn’t realise this was talent (if you can even call it that) until recently, but it turns out I have a sneaky but not deliberate talent for never being where there is a camera taking candid or group photos… The hardest thing I’ve done all week was find somewhat recent photos for this article! If I didn’t dye my hair every year it may have been a bit easier to pass off some older photos as recent…