Who Am I?
Most Americans pack the caravan to Paris, but taking a risk I headed south and moved into an apartment with Bri- partner in crime.
You know that little town, where all those vampire fans are drooling over Edward? Yes. I was raised in Forks, Washington- you know, the one where vampire supposedly shine like diamonds and 16 year old girls have babies. The 16 year olds having babies is accurate, the vampires? Not so much.
Somehow from lucky twists and turns I ended up finishing my undergraduate degree in Portland where I met a French guy with a not-so-French name. By chance I already had about 6 years of French under my belt and my plans were to do international Management specialized in French speaking countries. So when Brian proposed that I whisk myself away to France, I said, what the hell?
Except, there would be no Paris for this girl, no Eiffel Towers or Parisien balades... No I was moving to the second largest city in France, the one that no American really has heard of, Lyon. Not suprisingly there was a miniscule expatriate community, even smaller crowd of people my age and a non existence of any student doing a Management degree in France.
Zoom to July, 2010, my whole 4 years of Undergrad were shoved into two suitcases and I tearfully kissed my American life behind. No more Taco Bell. No more drunken nights with my girlfriends. No more flip flops. I boarded a plane to London, hopped a train to Lyon. 16 hours later I found myself in my only French friend's apartment.. Brian. Strangely the 320 sq ft apartment didn't phase me, but the fact that the toilet was separated from the sink? Insane. My first apartment had a kitchen/living room combo, the fridge went to my knee and I cooked on a hot plate. Even in my University years I had a stove.
It took time, about a year to be exact... but I regret nothing. Now the apartment has grown into a fitting 600 sq ft apartment located in the center of the city. The fridge is now about 5'7 and I've got a gas range, the toilet, however, is still in a separate room from the sink.
My Career Plans
As of July 2011 I have been formally accepted into the Masters in Management of Small and Medium Sized Businesses in an International Setting. What does this mean? Well, according to the woman, who about jumped out of her seat to keep me in the program, I will be promoting International Businesses into coming to Lyon.
After the program, the goal will be to prove why Lyon is the new doorway to the French market and how to integrate in the closed Lyonnais culture. If you aren't in the circle, you won't ever be accepted.
My goal is to prove to the French people that they don't have to adapt to do business with America, we can adapt as well. Most anglophones come to France to absorb the language and then go teach, my goal is to preserve the culture and prevent businesses from globalizing but instead adapting to life in Lyon. My Lyon.
I also plan to help French businesses adopt some American ideology in regards to our flattening of businesses and reducing the paperwork and hierarchy. As every French person I've told this to: J'ai beaucoup de travail à faire.
It's a common fact that American businesses assume all French speak English.. in Lyon it's not true. A small percentage speak English and an even smaller can understand a conversation over the phone. Enter me.