Life in Paris, Schedule Series

Internship Days – The Schedule Series

Definitely my favourite kind of days!

I’m so lucky to have this internship. I approached my current employer in November with a project related to my thesis and asked them to create a position. I was prepared to work unpaid, but the HR department looked at the scope of my contract and said that they would be legally obligated to pay me minimum wage. It’s taken several months to actually hammer out the contracts (which I had to complete twice…) but I’ve finally begun and I love it.

The office is housed inside of a museum and it’s unfortunately about an hour away from my house on the train. I don’t drive in France, and I’m committed to keeping it that way for as long as I can – the pollution here is horrendous, and the traffic is terrifying! They don’t need me, or any other new drivers for that matter, on the road.

I take 3 (!!) trains, and generally spend my time reading or listening to podcasts. I try to read for pleasure on the trains, but the pressure is on in my behavioural finance course, so I’ve switched over to reading articles on my phone.

Once I arrive, I can skirt the enormous school groups at the entry by using the personnel door, which feels way cooler than it actually is.

I arrive at 9:45 for the all-staff briefing before the centre opens at 10. After the briefing, I spend a few minutes in my office getting organised. I have a cup of coffee, double check my to-do list, and print off the questionnaires to distribute to clients. From 11-1, I’m typically up front and speaking with clients, both distributing the questionnaires and doing miniature interviews.

Much of the office takes lunch from 12-1, but I’ve noticed a serious traffic jam around the microwaves, so I like to wait until 1. I eat in the break room when I can, or in my office if I can’t, before taking a walk around the museum for the second half of my lunch hour. It’s warming up outside, and on sunny days I walk around outside. The park that surrounds the museum is beautiful and begging to be explored every day.

One of the museum cafés sells an espresso and a tiny chocolate for 1€, and it’s been one of my recent indulgences of an employed individual to have one after lunch, even though there’s usually still coffee in the break room.

From 2-5, sometimes 2-6, I’m back in the centre with clients, or in my office processing the forms from the morning. An undergraduate volunteered with my advisor to process my questionnaires, so I am generally free to continue speaking with clients, or looking at emerging trends in our data. We plan to update the questionnaire in a few weeks to begin to refine my results into a diagnostic tool, which should keep me busy enough!

Once I’ve finished up, I’m back in the trains for another hour of podcasts, books, or music, before I’m home for the day. These kinds of days feel like mini-vacations from school, because I have clear start and end times, as well as the freedom to keep pursuing my project at my own pace. They might be more labor intensive than sitting in lecture, but considering how much I prefer them to school at the moment, I’m taking that as a sign that I’m ready to move on to the job market!

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