Internship in France

Dovilė Žironaitė

After graduating with a French Philology and Pedagogy BA in Vilnius University, I decided to use the Erasmus+ post-graduate internship opportunity. I realized that it could be a great kick-start to enter the professional world, especially working in an international company, keeping in mind that I haven‘t been decided yet what to do after my studies. I wanted to try myself by living abroad, to gain more independence and of course to improve my skills of French language, which I was learning at University and put my theoretical knowledge into the practice.

I‘ve started to search for the internship offers all over the Internet, but especially in those websites which have for purpose to suggest it and renew the suggestions all the time , such as, etc. I chose a society based in Paris, France, called Coton Doux. It is a leading European brand, specialising in high-end original shirts for men, women and children.  This enterprise has several spots across the France (and a few of them abroad as well) – Lyon, Nantes, Arles, Saint-Tropez.  I thought that it would be nice to go to the city which would be lovely itself so I applied for Lyon. I had a possibility to visit almost all the stores situated in France. The boutiques were set in the most wonderful places of the city – next to the Place Bellecour in Lyon, 2 minutes of walk from the beach and to the port in Saint-Tropez, just behind the Place de la République in Arles and in that amazing district called Le Marais in Paris.

The title of my internship was: Retail Assistant Intern. As I had zero experience in commerce in Lithuania, I did not expect to be competent, self-confident in sales from the very beginning. However, I had an opportunity to be a part of international and young but yet professional team and that was a remarkable experience. As a Store Manager Assitant I had a lot of tasks: from welcoming international customers and building their loyalty, to participating in the day-to-day upkeep of the stores: Visual Merchandising, inventories, restocking, and inventorymanagement. I’ve learned some commercial techniques, creativity and responsibility. Working in a team which contains people from all over the world let me learn and appreciate our cultural differences and similarities even more.

Besides working, I was spending some free time with my colleagues; we were attending events, traveling, tasting local foods, visiting historical monuments and cities near us. We were building a community.

This internship had a great impact on my professional and personal skills.Going abroad helped me to develop ideas in different ways, to improve my foreign language skills, to grow myself like a more open-minded, tolerant person who accepts challenges and takes decisions. And perhaps I, and other people who were working with me and who I met during this period, have formed relationships that would last for a lifetime. Yet this was an incredible chance and I am grateful for such an opportunity which will impact my future decisions for sure.



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