As I go into the last week of my internship in Paris, I have a lot to look back at and reflect upon from my experience. I have had the opportunity to take on a variety of projects at my internship, build relationships with my coworkers and hostess, and discover a lot about myself through challenges I’ve faced. So much has changed since I arrived in May, and I think now is a good time to review what all that has happened since then.
Before coming to Paris, I was really excited to go to a new place, learn new things and meet new people. Sure, I was a little nervous, but I think that I underestimated the challenges that I would face right off the bat. My first few days after arrival were very overwhelming and there were times when I was unsure if I would be able to do this for 8 weeks.
Once my internship began and I got a few weeks into the program, I had already adjusted well to life in Paris and I felt much more comfortable with how things went. However, I still didn’t have much confidence in my ability to speak French and interact with people in public. This would come later.
At about the three week point of my internship, I had already been given a great deal of responsibility. I was in charge of planning, managing, and measuring my company’s social media strategies, planning the editorial calendar and writing blog posts, as well as inviting industry influencers and partners to a big company event. Although my supervisor was there for me when I needed help, most of these tasks were very independent and I learned to work with little direction.
As weeks went by, I became closer with my coworkers and started feeling much more comfortable doing things around Paris. I discovered that my French skills are drastically better when I speak confidently and don’t stress over interactions. I also began feeling much more at home in Paris and like I could blend into the environment much better.
Although I am looking forward to seeing my friends and family and returning to a familiar environment, I am sad to have to be leaving France in the coming weeks. This experience has been one of a kind, and I have learned a lot about myself. This program has reaffirmed my desire to work in international business and travel the world. My French language skills have improved beyond my expectations. The work experience I have gained at my internship has been interesting and challenging, and I am confident that it will come to use in the future. All in all, this experience has helped me develop professionally and personally in many ways.
Although the end is in sight, I am sure that the memories I have made and the lessons I have learned during my time in France will be lasting. I hope that I am able to achieve a career that is as challenging and rewarding as this internship has been for me this summer.