Practical training in France

In December 2018, I got the chance of a lifetime. I was not planning to go do my practical training abroad, and even less in my second year. But when the opportunity presented itself, I thought that it would be crazy to not go for it and have a 3,5 month adventure in the French Riviera.

I did a marketing internship in the beautiful Côte d’Azur region of Southern France, in a city called Mandelieu la Napoule with George Simons International and Diversophy® in spring 2019. I was doing the marketing track at the time and I heard about the opportunity from a friend of mine who was going to do her internship there as well, sent the CEO and founder George an email asking about internship possibilities and a week later I was booking flights to Nice.

During my time there, I got to participate in a vast variety of different projects and tasks. We worked closely with other students, teachers form Jamk and other trainers and experts in the intercultural competence field. I really enjoyed that every day was different and that in addition to everyday office tasks such as updating the contacts database and sending out marketing emails, I actually got to participate in the creation of marketing materials for the company hands on. My favourite part was the creation and development of an upcoming Diversophy® game, that I worked on with another intern and a fellow student from Jamk. The whole process was very pleasant and we had a lot of fun editing the cards and coming up with new ones over Zoom. I think that the internship offered me a lot of opportunities to develop my skills in many different fields and types of tasks, which is definitely a strength of the George Simons International internships.

Aside from just work, the area is amazing. Mandelieu la Napoule is a small town just next to Cannes and there is this warm community spirit there and our neighbours and the people of Mandelieu are extremely nice, pleasant and helpful. It was also nice to get to enhance my French language skills, although most people spoke some English.

The whole Côte d’Azur region is very beautiful and there are many different types of architecture and sights to see close by. With Nice and Cannes so close, the possibilities of going out and shopping are endless and there is always something new and exciting to do or see and Monaco, Antibes and the stone beaches of Nice are something that I recommend for everyone to see once in their life.

And as a tip to the Finns, if you get homesick and are craving some ruisleipä or hernekeitto, there is a nice little Nordic store close by in Antibes!


Author: Ira Salo