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My dream job as a Digital Marketing Apprentice in Lyon, France

Dernière mise à jour : 30 nov. 2023

Who am I and why should you keep reading?

I'm Shauna and I’m the new Digital Marketing Apprentice at My English Sister. I’ve come all the way from Tipperary in Ireland after recently completing my undergrad in International Business & French from Munster Technological University, Cork.

Keep reading and I'll tell you all about how I landed my dream job in France!

How it all began

Since the first time I visited France aged 7, I’ve been fascinated by the culture and language and it has always been my dream to live here.

During my first year of university, I was given the opportunity to go to Lyon for a week-long cultural exchange. After spending 7 days, I fell in love with the city and decided to come back here the following September for my Erasmus.

During this time I further explored France visiting Annecy, Marseille, Montpellier, Vienne, Aix-les-Bains, Paris and even crossed the border to Geneva.

Unfortunately my time in Lyon was cut short and in March 2020 I had to pack up my new life in France and return home to Ireland. This was the last picture I took of the view from Fourvière before I left. I remember this moment so well - I promised myself that I would come back as soon as I could.

How did I find the perfect job in France?

Fast forward 14 months, after submitting the final essay for my degree I quickly opened up a new tab and searched ‘’English Speaking Jobs Lyon’’.

The first thing that appeared on the Google search was the My English Sister website. The name sounded familiar and as I scrolled through the website I realised that the company had been set up during the time I was in Lyon and I had previously seen some posts on Facebook. It almost seemed like fate.

I scrolled through the job opportunities and could not believe my eyes when I saw that they were looking for an apprentice to join their team. Teaching English? Marketing? Graphic design? Improve your French? and… study towards a Master’s of YOUR CHOICE with tuition fees covered??

How could it be possible to find an amazing opportunity like this? I never thought I’d find a job where I would get to combine all of my passions and skills. I immediately got to work on my application. I jazzed up my C.V. and cover letter and made sure it had everything it needed to prove my motivation for the job.

The job application process

On the Monday morning after I applied I was invited for a phone call with Katy to discuss the opportunity in further detail. After this initial phone call I was invited to a formal interview over Skype where we discussed my childcare, teaching, marketing and graphic design experience. Katy explained the methods that MES uses to teach English to kids and I answered some scenario based questions, both pedagogical and business-related.

After this interview I was through to the final stage where I had a video call with Charlotte (completely in French). I had to talk about myself explaining my motivation behind applying for the job and my past experiences with education and work. It was a great experience as I had never done an interview before in French.

I was asked to prepare a portfolio with some of my work as I had previous experience working in a graphic design agency and was tasked with designing an Instagram post.

Last but not least, I had to fill out a situational judgment test and about three weeks after I had applied for the job Katy rang me to tell me I had been a successful candidate. I was ecstatic! It was nearly time to start planning my big move to France - I just had to find a suitable Master's degree.

Choosing a Master's degree programme

The process for finding a Master's degree was simplified by Francesca (our other MES apprentice and last year's MES intern) who had compiled a spreadsheet with various options for different courses. I had to find one that allowed for a rhythm of 4 days with the company and 1 day with the university.

We were lucky to find that IPAG Business School in Paris had launched their first year of online Masters' available in French & English. These include MSc Digital Marketing & Data Analysis, MSc UX Design & Digital Business and MSc Digital Entrepreneur & Project Management. We both chose to study towards an MSc Digital Marketing & Data Analysis with IPAG.

I filled out the online application and had a 30 minute interview (10 minutes in French and 20 minutes in English) where I had to speak about my previous studies and my reasons for applying to the programme. The process was straightforward and about two weeks after, I received an email to say I was accepted. It was finally time to start preparing to move to France - I booked my flights, found an apartment and packed up my whole life into two suitcases ready for my next French adventure.

Starting my role as an apprentice

I'm already two months into my apprenticeship with My English Sister (time really does fly when you're having fun). Here’s what I’ve gotten up to so far:

On my first day, I had my initial training with Charlotte at our co-working space in Hiptown, Part-Dieu. She set me up with all of the tools I would need to carry out my role. I completed my First Aid Training and she guided me through some French administrative procedures such as acquiring a social security number, applying for CAF and setting up a French bank account. These were all things I had been worried about - as you probably already know French admin is similar to cracking Morse code. Luckily I have received so much continued support from the My English Sister team.

I spent my first week getting to grips with how the company was run, doing some basic Photoshop training and becoming familiar with my TEK pack. Then it was time for 'la rentrée' (the term used for back to school in France). I was matched with the families that I was going to be working with and attended my first sessions where I introduced myself to the families and played some games with the children. The purpose of this session is to see if you're a good match for the family before beginning your weekly scheduled sessions.

Two weeks into my apprenticeship I began my master’s where my courses are 70% in English and 30% in French. We communicate in French as much as possible in the office. I've already seen a big improvement in my language skills in just a few weeks.

A typical week as an MES Digital Marketing Apprentice

I begin work at 10 am on Monday morning. My job is mainly autonomous and I work until 12 pm and then again from 2 pm until 4 pm carrying out tasks such as designing newsletters on Photoshop and Illustrator, brainstorming ideas and implementing my marketing strategy on our main Instagram account. At 4 pm I leave to go pick up the kids from school. The first hour is taken up with collecting the kids, walking back to their home and preparing a snack. During this time I try to speak as much English as possible with them but I also speak with them in French so that we are able to form a better relationship. The last hour is spent playing games and using the TEK pack to teach them English. Tuesday morning is when the MES team meets at our co-working space. We catch up on what everyone has been working on over the past week.

On Wednesday morning I have a full day of teaching and childcare where I split my time between two families. I work from half 9 until 11 with one family before having a break for an hour. Following this I go to pick up the other family from school. We spend the afternoon playing games in English and sometimes we take trips to the zoo and explore the park. I work from home on Thursdays and finish any outstanding tasks I have for that week before heading off to my last session. On Friday mornings I have one or two lectures and I spend the afternoon studying. My weekends are free to have fun in Lyon and travel around France. I try to dedicate about 4-6 hours over the weekend to studying and 1 hour every evening during the week so that I can stay on top of things.

If this sounds like something you would be interested in or would like more information don’t hesitate to contact me: I would be more than happy to answer any of your queries.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and as the French say have a 'bonne journée !'.

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