Member Focus – by Claire Philippe

For our December focus, we are pleased to present Claire Philippe, one of our French language professor.

Claire PhilippeI have always been fascinated with languages:  how you can learn a new one, switch from one to another. For me it has always been the starting point to discover a new country, a new culture.

My first job was in a small French company working in the digital marketing field. It had activities in different European countries but all the staff was based in the same premises in the suburb of Paris. We all worked together and I really enjoyed that international atmosphere.

Later I decided to become a French teacher for foreigners. All my students are foreigners and come from all over the world and as such, the question of intercultural communication and management became more important again.

Working at IESEG means working with people from a lot of different nationalities and backgrounds. For example, I share my office with 6 others persons who represent in total 6 nationalities. Besides, as a French teacher for foreigners, I teach students from all over the world all gathered in the same class. Thus, it is important for me to understand them better in order to help them learn and deal with some challenging situations which can sometimes occur.

From a more personal point of view, I have quite a multicultural, and intercultural family with my mother being Italian, my father French, and my husband Polish, who speaks mainly Polish to our son.

After following the diversity training at IESEG, I wanted to go further in my understanding and knowledge about this topic. Joining ICIE seemed to me the next logical step for me. It’s important for me to get more theory about intercultural engagement to help me understand better my environment and to become more conscious about the different cultures around me. I also hope that my experience could be helpful for the ICIE.

Last year, we launched monthly events called Lunch and learn. I was and am still in charge of the organization of the ones on the Paris Campus. We invite all the staff to join us for an informal lunch in order to discuss about multiculturalism and interculturalism. The topics are very open and we speak about a lot of different topics such as learning languages, the Venezuela crisis or IESEG culture as a company. It’s a very nice moment in which we are able to gather people from different background but share a common interest in diversity.

As a student I spent one year living in Italy and 6 months in England. These were amazing experiences but the most significant came afterwards: when I went back to school to study language pedagogy, I spent 4 months in Laos for an internship. This was really a cultural shock at a personal and professional level: learning a new job in a new country with a culture I didn’t know at all. I discovered a lot about the country but moreover about myself. It really pushed me to take some distance with my own culture and to better accept a totally different one. It’s an experience I will always remember.I have always been fascinated with languages: how you can learn a new one, switch from one to another. For me it has always been the starting point to discover a new country, a new culture.

Member Focus – by Claire Philippe