HEC Paris #2- Finding my Footing

Time flies when you’re having fun. It goes even faster adjusting to a new place, to the point that I have to look back over my last blog post to remember what exactly my expectations were for this internship. Here are the four points I made a couple of weeks ago when I first got here:

  • Learn how to work in close quarters with a team of 7+ other interns, all with their own expectations and ideas.

The new interns are all here now. In all honesty, I’d been nervous about meeting them, seeing how we’d work together and live together. It’s been better than I would have hoped. They’re all talented, fun, and hardworking. (Our room is starting to feel a bit small though. Which isn’t the worst problem to have.) We’re planning weekend trips and I’m so excited to get to know Europe and my fellow interns better.

  • Pursue many small, differing projects that will teach me a grab-bag of skills through hands-on experience.

In terms of work, I’ve mostly been taking photos for future promotions, organizing a scavenger hunt with the team, and helping the Summer School students with the grab-bag of problems and issues that comes with a large program like this. It has been a new experience to be on call 24/7 as a Problem Solver. Students stop me when I’m eating to ask me questions about the cafeteria, they message me on Facebook when they lose their passwords. Even when I’m not working officially, I need to be ready to flip the switch into work mode. Not only that, but I’m here to be relateable, to be a liaison between the students and the school. My job is essentially to relate to the students. This can be really rewarding, but also exhausting mentally. The funny thing is people don’t seem to realize how young I am unless I decide to tell them.

  • Improve my French.

My listening as definitely improved already. I can also order food in French, thanks to my long weekend in Paris. Most of my problem with speaking comes from me trying to speak too perfectly. Once I accept that making a huge amount of mistakes is the only way to improve, I hope I’ll improve quickly.

  • Hopefully puzzle out how public transportation works in France.

Over a long weekend in Paris, a fellow intern and I made every possible mistake, were charged extra for having the wrong tickets, missed trains, and generally fought our way through public transport. I’m happy to say, though, that I puzzled out the Metro just in time to come back to Jouy-en-Josas.

If anything is clear yet about this internship, it’s that the opportunities are going to be as varied as they are surprising. No matter what I’m doing, socially or professionally, I’m going to have a team of great people to help support me, and I’m going to do my best to support them too. Adjusting to working life in a foreign country has been a long process, but I’m finally finding my home-away-from-home here in Jouy.

EDIT: I intended to publish this post a while ago, but only saved it as a draft on accident. My mistake!

Les Photos du Jour

Students at a Scavenger Hunt that we put on to help them get used to campus. Some people got very into it. It was really refreshing to see fully grown adults sprinting all around the campus to try and win the competition.

 

Some of the intern team heading into Jouy-en-Josas for dinner. We take it upon ourselves to check out the local restaurants. For the sake of the students, of course.

After work I’ll sometimes shoot over to Versailles for a couple of hours. This dog lives in an antique shop there. What a cutie! The stone floors probably felt amazing with the hot sun outside.

An indoor market in Versailles. We had a nice converstation with the woman who made our crêpes We took a daytrip and visited the gardens.

Most of the intern team in the Monet gardens  (I’m in the middle). The day after this was taken we got another intern, and two of the other women on our team are also missing from this picture.

Can’t have a post without a chicken. This one was outside a café in Giverny. It was too close to our table to get a good picture.

That’s it for now! A lot has happened, more than I can talk about here. I’m relieved to even have time to write this blog what with all the work and travelling around France we’ve been doing.

À bientôt ! See you soon!

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