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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Story Time: Receptionist at Wallstreet

As my 'stage' or internship contract for Baby Speaking is finishing on the 18th of this month, I accepted a position at Wallstreet Institute as a 'language assistant' and 'receptionist'.  I found little information on the web about this type of job, so I decided to detail a bit about what it is and what I do!

It's a completely different position than what I did with Baby Speaking- which BS my job was very much a rogue warrior type deal where I worked by my lonesome in Lyon and helped to development the market for the company.  I had about 15 hours a week to plan and organize how to better the company and quickly realized it was a definite challenge.  People in Lyon are incredibly different than most areas in France, they are cold and shut out, very 'french-french' type atmosphere.  I can easily say that Lyon is not very international in regards to Anglophones, and it's sort of a city that no one things about that often.  Of course, never tell a Lyonnais this- they will frown and state, 'Oui, mais nous sommes la 2ème grande ville de la France!', and you just nod and keep the silent comment about Marseille to yourself.

I loved the challenge, but I was aware that I couldn't stick with them forever- they hadn't mentioned elongating my contract and I was already getting offers at other companies.  I had applied for Wallstreet roughly the same time, and hadn't heard any news until March when they started prodding me to work for them.  After some negotiation, I was offered a CDI and a starting time- with a happy wage- and I happily accepted.  *note: CDI in France is considered a good working contract*.  It broke my heart to know that I would leave Baby Speaking, but all the same they hadn't contacted me!

THEN I found out Baby Speaking was already considering extending my internship- but even a CDD couldn't convince me.  I was going to Wallstreet, and although I loved Baby Speaking, I was ready for the new change.  Ironically, however, as I live right next door to Bellecour- I was sent over to Part-Dieu, tant pis.

Now, my position... the position will require me to answer phones, most the time in french and basically coordinate all the scheduled activities with the students.  The biggest challenge will be speaking in French over the phone...imagine if someone calls and says, "M. Perrin", and I'm like, "WHAATTTTTT??"

Of course, nothing stopped me before... so I'll pick up my guts to get it together and answer.  Stay tuned for stories from an American receptionist in France...


1 comment:

  1. Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing your experience!

    I'd be interested in applying for a language assistant at Wall Street Institute but couldn't find a lot of information on the web about it.
    I'm French so speaking French wouldn't be an issue but I'd like keep using my English too.
    What do you think of the company? Is the wage above the "SMIC"?
    I'd like to work in Orléans but I don't know if their office is big over there (I'm still in Canada right now so I can't just go to take a look).

    Any information will be appreciated!
    Thanks a lot,


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