Interview with Clémence V., former Career Training USA Intern from France
Clémence did her nine-month program with Devoucoux, Inc., a luxury saddle maker, from 2013 to 2014.
Current job title, employer, and city?
Corporate Marketing Assistant at Spineart in Geneva, Switzerland.
Please describe your internship program in the U.S.
I was the assistant of the general manager. I had to handle the U.S. stock, the U.S. order, take care of the customer relationship, take care of the relations with all the U.S. sales reps and I had to assist some sales reps during the horse show.
What are some of your most memorable experiences in the U.S.?
Professional: My memorable experience in the U.S. during my work time was when I went to a horse show to learn about the sales rep job. I was able to learn more about the products and to develop relationships with customers. It was really interesting and brought me a lot of skills.
Personal: My several trips in the U.S. during weekends like New Orleans, Miami, Washington, Boston, and Los Angeles. It was really interesting to discover new cities, new landscapes, and different way of living from New York.
What did you like the most about your internship and overall experience in the U.S.?
The thing I’ve liked the most was my entire experience in the U.S. - the chance I had to live in a city like New York for 10 months. Every morning I was happy to get out of my bed; it was a pleasure to go to work. Also, I’ve liked all the people that I met, my co-workers and friends. It was so good to meet a lot of people from different nationalities.
Since completing your internship in the U.S., have you adopted any aspects of U.S. culture in your personal or professional life?
I have adopted some aspects of U.S. culture in my personal life: I celebrated Halloween and Thanksgiving in 2014, I’m still following the U.S. news and I make sometimes “eggs, bacon, and cheese on a roll” for breakfast, which is for me the best American breakfast.
Please describe your current job and responsibilities.
I’m actually in my final year for school in Master 2. I’m doing this year an apprenticeship program, which means that I am one week at school and three weeks in my company each month. It’s a hard program to follow but very educative.
I’m the corporate marketing assistant in my new company, and my main missions are to plan and organize all company events like business meetings, congress, launch of product, and sales meeting in European countries (like Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and France) and others foreign countries (like USA, UAE, and China). I’m also in charge of the creation of new communication supports like goodies and flyers.
Do you use any skills you learned during your internship in your current position?
My English is very important during this job because all my communication are done by English emails and phone calls. I have to work with people from different nationalities, so our main language is English. Thanks to my experience in the U.S. I strongly have improved my English language and this is the most important skill to have to work in a good company in Switzerland.
What effect did your internship program have on your career path and future employment prospects? What did you do directly after your program in the U.S.?
My internship program made me realize that I really want to work in a foreign country after my graduation in October 2015. Areas where I would love to find a job will be North or South America, Australia, or Asia. My dream will be to find a job in New York, but I will look for a position everywhere in the world.
When I came back in France after my internship program, I had to look for an apprenticeship so I spent my summer applying to different companies and offers. When I found it, I left for Thailand to enjoy the rest of my vacations.
How was your overall experience with InterExchange as your program sponsor? What advice do you have for prospective interns/trainees about participating in the program?
My overall experience with InterExchange was really good. Signe Knutson was always taking care of me by asking news and information concerning my internship. Signe was really helpful, she always helped me when I had some important questions concerning the program.
I would say to a new participant "Don’t worry, InterExchange will give you all the information needed and all the help you need during your program to guarantee the best experience."