Over the past few days, A few other students have offered up a short description of what they are doing in their internships. Since I'm not there experiencing it for them, I thought it best to leave it in their words.
First off, here is Amanda's experience at the bakery, written last Thursday:
"My internship is at La Mie Coline: a bakery/boulangerie chain in France that sells bread, pastries and sandwiches! It’s tough being on my feet for so long each day, but I am able to help out a lot. I like that my internship is something that is really hands on, and somewhere that I can actually help and contribute to the operation. Today (Thurs. 1/16), I have started helping customers that come into the bakery. It’s more of a challenge because the customers don’t know that I am an American, who has trouble understanding them if they talk too fast. But if you want a pain au chocolat (a bread-y pastry with chocolate) or a super cookie, I can help you! I’m also getting the chance to break out my math skills when I have to give people change, since you have to do it in your head. It’s actually a bit difficult, because there’s pressure to do it quickly so more sales can be rung up on the register, and after doing the subtraction, you have to give the change and then translate it into French all in a span of 10 seconds or less. I love the feeling when I successfully help a customer all by myself though!"
The other summary I have ready to post is from Emmie. Here's what she has to say:
"My name is Emmie VanderStel and I'm a senior at Luther majoring in Accounting. My internship does not consist of a project like a lot of the other students but instead I am learning all about the inner workings of City Hall in Quimper. The section I am in covers everything fom buses, roads, gardens, environment, water treatment, waste water, rec centers, theaters, etc. I get to sit in on a lot of meetings which has been an awesome experience to see all the conversations and decisions that go behind all the things we never think about such as how they determine speed limits, if we should pay for parking garages, etc. It's been a great experience to improve my French by listening to so many conversations as well as practice my French all day while on "field trips" or site visits in the car to see things like how they build a road over a bridge or today's which was visiting a water treatment plant for the river. Accounting comes into play when learning about the budget or how to make projects cost effective, as well as learning more about government accounting which I just learned about at Luther. This week has all been developing background knowledge on the business and next week I get to dive into the finance side of things. I've had an amazing experience thusfar and my coworkers are so welcoming. They come in to say hello and shake hands or do the french kiss hello every morning. This experience has been a once in a lifetime experience that I will carry with me forever."
So, even though we are all in the same class, in the same country, learning the same language, we are each experiencing it in a completely unique way. And hopefully you've enjoyed the new perspectives.