Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Thursday, July 19, 2012

More changes in our lives

I have some big news of my own to reveal (and no, not baby news)...this fall I will be starting a Masters in World Domination (ha, almost, but not quite) at Paris Dauphine University. I'm a mixture of excited and nervous about this new undertaking...the whole thing is quite intimidating as it's a selective program and I'm still not sure how I got in.  You have to be a minimum of 30 years old to apply (check), you have to have a masters (nope), you have to have been a cadre for five years (nope) with five years of managerial experience (nope).  They also only accept on average two foreigners a year (out of 20 students) and less than 30% of the participants are women.  And based on the list of past participants they handed out, the average age was at least 45 plus.

Not looking too good for me then, right?  So why on Earth did I apply?  To be honest, I don't know - I guess I figured qui ne tente rien n'a rien, and it was the only program that had everything I was looking for, in the length that I was looking for and at an okay price.  And there was no application fee, so I figured I didn't have anything to lose besides a bit of time.

It was a bit of a strange process - first I had to send in my CV + a letter of motivation for why I wanted to do the program.  Once I made it through that round, they sent the application and I had to collect a whole bunch of documents, including a letter from my employer saying they agreed with my participation in the program.  And then once they approved that came the scary part - a 45 minute interview with a jury and a 45 minute entrance exam.

I'm telling you, that interview was bad.  They were so rude to me, saying things like "Wait a minute, explain to us again how YOU are able to do your job?" as if they couldn't believe I was actually capable of it. They were also really confused by my parcours, not really understanding how I had gone from a dietitian in the US to an interpreter in France, and then moved on up in my company to my current role.  I get that my job history can seem strange in France and that it is fairly rare for a woman to be doing what I'm doing, and that it is even more rare for someone my age to be in the role that I am now (again, in France anyways), but still, I really didn't appreciate their attitude, it was almost like they thought I was lying.

And then there were the questions like "Well what does your husband think about this?  You travel a lot already, how will he feel about you being even busier? Who will do the cooking and cleaning?"  Well geez, I suppose attitudes like that are the reason there aren't many women in this program!  I mean, it's true that this is going to be a big time suck, but normally I will be traveling less once the program starts.  And for the record, C is perfectly capable of doing the cooking and cleaning and does so willingly, especially when I am on the road.  He is also super supportive of my doing this and he would have actually liked to have done the program with me, but hasn't been at his company long enough. So in your face interviewers!

Anyways, after 45 minutes of grilling and a crazy entrance exam (more on that tomorrow) I walked out of there thinking I had about zero chance of getting in, especially since they told me they had already approved two other foreigners.  One of whom was the uber annoying Eastern European chick who sat next to me at the info session...yippee.

But for whatever reason, they decided to take me and I will be signing my life over to them for the next 14 months.  Or I guess not my life, but two Fridays and two Saturdays a month plus the study time.

Little did I know that getting accepted was the easy part, and that getting the funding to do the program would become a three-month long process!

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Blogger Annie said...

Tu m'impressionneras toujours Sam! Quel challenge! Vous méritez tellement d'être heureux, C et toi, vous êtes tellement bosseurs, si loin de l'attitude "assistée" qui prédomine en France.

July 19, 2012 at 12:09 PM  
Blogger Anon said...

Inspiring. Good for you!

July 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Congratulations! Your whole journey has been so inspiring. But those interview questions?! What the hell? I don't know about universities, but for a job interview in the US, those would be ILLEGAL! Good for you for keeping your cool. And good for your husband for being a part of the 21st century.

July 19, 2012 at 1:43 PM  
Blogger Gwan said...

Wow, well done! That's very impressive!

July 19, 2012 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

What damn cheeky questions! I'm sure they're illegal too.

Well done though for getting on the course. Looks like the world's gonna be your oyster girl!

July 19, 2012 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

And agree with previous commentors about the interview. I suppose you could always say something like "my husband does the cooking and cleaning, and we plan on him having the babies too."

And I hate how anytime a somewhat newly married woman announces that she has news, everyone thinks it must be a baby on the way. it couldn't possibly be professionally related.

July 19, 2012 at 7:41 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

wow, i knew the french were seriously sexist and anti-feminist but this kind of takes the cake. give it to them, grrl.

July 20, 2012 at 4:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all an enormous congratulations! Second of all Don't give whether you belong there another thought -- you're in, so you clearly do! and 3rd of all, having such absurdly sexist questions about cooking and cleaning (I love Megan's point of C having your baby) will make getting your diploma in 14 months all the more rewarding -- before you leave be sure to tell them your husband will dust it every day!

July 20, 2012 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger melinda said...

excellent congrats Sam that's wonderful

July 20, 2012 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Jenny Phoria said...

So many major changes for you recently! Good for you. I'm certain you will do wonderfully, and I can't wait for the updates.

July 22, 2012 at 4:03 AM  
Blogger Mouse said...

ooh! well done and so exciting!

July 22, 2012 at 4:07 PM  
Blogger LaShawn said...


August 10, 2012 at 9:44 PM  

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