Our amazing country manager Swantje, brought two of the other interns and myself to the office on the first day of work. It was comforting to know that two other interns were going to be working with me in the same building.
Our first train ride to work was a memorable one! French was everywhere: in the speakers, advertisements, voices, and it made me feel helpless not being able to comprehend everything I was hearing or seeing. I was so nervous to meet my co-workers and especially my boss. I already knew he spoke English but I didn't know how big the office was and if they all spoke English.
Once I stepped in the door, I was in a whole new world. I felt incompetent not being able to understand a single word he said to me. I was more than shocked to learn where my French skills were. I thought I was intermediate but my first day at work showed me I was a beginner. Aside from that, I was relieved that my boss was very flexible and easygoing. As soon as we went over my duties with my boss, without a doubt in my mind, I knew I would benefit so much from this internship.
My two main tasks are to create new communication brochures and to renew their sets of pictures for their communication brochures and commercial presentations. I expect to work in advertising someday and this is a good start for me. One of my highlights of the day was when we took our lunch break. I was one happy camper! I forgot the French take hour-long lunch breaks. I like the idea of not rushing your food and getting to talk to your coworkers. I wish we had that in the states, I'd be less grouchy and more productive.
The interns and I got off at the same time and shared our first-day experiences. We all had similar stories! We all were overwhelmed with the language! The next day I came in ready for work and wanted to focus more on my job rather than French. As the other workers came in and spoke French, I realized I understood some of the things they said. And the next day, even more. I definitely just needed a couple of days to adjust.
On the 4th day of work, my boss took me to one of the most prestigious French equestrian fields: L'été du Grand Parquet in Fontainebleau one hour south of Paris. Being there was reassuring to me that I'm going to love my career path. Having a photoshoot for a booklet I will be designing while traveling and seeing new things is what I've always wanted to do as my job. It's an amazing feeling once you actually do it and you know you want to do this for a living. I'm so happy that I can say I experienced this while on an internship in Paris, France.