Go France! Always check if you need to use TU or VOUS

  • Career Center
  • Le 22 novembre 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 Lorena Rodriguez, IMM 12, has to say.


About Lorena

  • Graduated from the IMM 12 programme
  • Originally from Colombia
  • Working as Partnership Manager at Bluewolf, an IBM company in Paris
  • Daily working language ▶ French, English, Spanish
  • Native language (s) ▶ Spanish
  • Level of French ▶ Good
  • Other languages spoken ▶ English, French

Lorena's key advice 
Check systematically whether you need to use TU rather than VOUS because this completely changes they way you approach people.
How it all started
I worked in sales in the banking industry, sales and partnerships in IT business (software) in charge of south America and then US/Canada, since 3 years partnership manager IT business (software) in France.

Myths & realities
Realities: Having a good level of French is key even if you have global or EMEA position. It took me 3 years to understand professional culture and behaviour. The visa is no longer an issue if you choose a consulting company for example. In certain sectors, the French market has a lot to offer internationals even if you dont have perfect French: software business in consulting, sales, pre-sales.

Myths: Obtaining a visa is too hard. This is only true if you don’t choose the right industry sector.

My biggest challenge
Language skills even if I already had a good level of French when I started working. People don't really do efforts to understand your accent and understanding local professional culture: they way you send emails, they way
you approach people, relationships are quite different, having coffee breaks twice a day...

Speaking French
It has been a good challenge. I have improved my French a lot since 3 years and I still need to keep going.

Advice and top tips
It is not at all easy mostly if your own culture is not full of procedures for everything and administrative things are easy; in France every single thing takes super long. Be prepared for that in your minds. After accepting this fact, force yourself to really be part of the culture: meet French people, eat local food, do local things understand the culture and you will enjoy everything.

Are you an international alum in France or, are you a French alum working abroad?
Do you have a story to tell about your journey and how you secured your job or internship?
Do you have advice that you would like to share with current students?

If you have answered YES to all of the above, then please follow this link!

Thank you
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