Go France! Learn French, learn about French culture - the facts and the history!

  • Career & Development
  • Le 5 juillet 2019

We are delighted to bring you “Go France”, the guide for international students looking to work in France!

Devised and compiled by Audencia’s Career Centre and Alumni team, with the support of the School's student reporters, “Go France” is a valuable resource for internationals considering a career in France after their studies. Starting with HR professionals’ top tips and debunking the myths and realities of the workplace, Go France also showcases the experiences of more than 20 international alumni who have aced the challenge of finding a job in France.

This week, discover what Vanessa Benitez, IMM 16, has to say.

About Vanessa

  • Graduated from the IMM 16 programme
  • Originally from Colombia
  • Working as sales and marketing manager at Arjowiggins in Paris
  • Daily working language ▶ French, English
  • Native language (s) ▶ Spanish
  • Level of French ▶ Upper intermediate
  • Other languages spoken ▶ French, English
  • Other degrees ▶ Bachelor in Marketing & Economics

Vanessa's key advice 

Learn French, learn about French culture – the facts and the history!


How it all started

I had 2 years of professional experience in Colombia before coming to France. After Audencia I did an internship, then I continued in the same company as Brand Project Manager. This year I got the Sales & Marketing Manager position.


Pastimes
Kick boxing, yoga, science fiction books and movies, playing the piano.

Keeping in touch
Some of my classmates live in Paris, so we still see each other. Regarding those abroad we communicate via WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook Messenger or LinkedIn.

Myths & realities
Realities:
 
  • Work-life balance
  • Initially French people tend not to open up to internationals
  • You would need to at least understand French in order to get a job

My biggest challenge
I have been given huge responsbilities, such as organising events in Dubai, Seoul and all the operational and strategic aspects of launching a new product. This is great as I feel free to propose and create. Even though the environment is hierarchical, I have freedom on my own project, I can propose and take decisions fast.

Speaking French
I push myself to speak in French, even if I don't know the exact words... and I have asked the company to give me some French courses so to improve it.

Advice and top tips
Be open minded and don't take anything personally. Learn about working in a French environment and how it might be different from other cultures. Topics such as rules, team work, not mentioned rules, hierarchy norms, traditions, etc.
 
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