Upon reflecting on my time in France, I’ve realized that I have greatly improved my interpersonal skills. This tends to happen after discussing all kinds of subjects with hundreds of incoming business students of all ages, not to mention the French natives I met in various places throughout my travels across the French Riviera. I am more comfortable navigating my way around new places, I feel better about going up to people and asking them questions, I am more confident in my ability to communicate using compelling storytelling and nonverbal communication, and last but not least, I have improved my French language skills.
The most important skill I learned, however, is how to comfort people in their times of stress, usually involving cracking a joke, inviting them to play ping pong, or just leaving them to finish their questionnaires. When the students came in, there were a few that were quite worried about their upcoming oral exams. When approaching these concerned students, I learned how to quickly intuit whether they wanted to practice their language exams with me, go on a tour, answers to their fervent questions, or just peace to practice whatever they had prepared. This will be very useful when working with people in the future, as timing is key not only for the success of many crucial relationships but also for the projects and assignments handed out to us on the daily.