Week 8. Salut!

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How does your host culture define “success” in a professional sense? What makes a successful/effective employee in your internship and industry? How do behaviors and actions of a “successful” employee differ in your host vs. home country?

Just as an update, this is week 8! I literally can’t believe it has been 8 week since arriving here in Paris. It has really been such a treat, and I will forever be so appreciate for this opportunity. My french definitely improved, which was my number 1 goal coming here. I would never had the opportunity like this post graduation, and now I can confidently speak french, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel that is fluency. It is a really nice feeling. Today I had a 30 minute conversation with my uber driver and I think that is when it really hit me that I was getting better at french because holding an entire conversation about life goals and parisian culture is definitely no easy feat.

This weekend was le 14 Juillet which is France’s independence day. It was really amazing on the 13th all my friends and I from the program went out to bars and we danced all night, and spent the morning by the seine. Granted I am completely exhausted, but it was one of the best nights of my life. The day after, I went with some of my friends I met here to see the fireworks by the eiffel tower. We got so close to the fireworks that some of the pieces of the fireworks were falling on us. As dangerous as this was looking back, it was an amazing experience. The things you do for a good view.

This week at work there are only 4 days left. Because of my recent stunt this weekend going out everyday, I am feeling a bit tired, but I am really pumped for this week at work. I finally know how to check people out, and I talk to the clients in french confidently.

With regard to the prompt, France defines success based more off of the quality of life, and how much vacation time a job offers rather than the more american definition of success – money. I was talking to the uber driver today about what his dream is, and he said he just wants to connect with people and to have enough money to travel and connect with said people. Similarly, when I ask this question to other french people: “what is your dream?” or “what is the dream job?”, they often do not know and express the desire for a family and a good support system of friends. I find this to be a different answer that I think i would expect from someone who is american.

A successful employee in my internship is really social. The nature of my job is to interact with people and to sell art. So as such it is necessary that someone is comfortable speaking to clients and customers, and are very familiar with the art techniques, the artists, and the gallery in general. Additionally, a successful employee also must work diligently and have attention to detail, because that is very important in the art realm.

I believe that the behaviors of a successful person are different here than in the states  in that the people here place a bigger value on life outside of work. So a successful person here would have a superb work life balance whereas a successful person in the states would have a great job at a big company working long hours but makes a lot of money.