Aggies Commit in Paris

Posted on Monday, Jul 22, 2019

Aggies Commit is a fantastic endeavor for Aggies to continue learning outside of the classroom.  This summer I had the chance to make the Foreign Commercial Service office in Paris my classroom - but not only there, but also the Pais Air Show, my past host family’s house, and cafes speaking with locals.  I was able to use Paris as a learning environment, not only for professional skills but also my language skills.
Over the summer I was able to increase my knowledge of the Commercial Service and their services for American Companies.  Learning how to effectively perform market research on products that I had no prior knowledge about, really used my analytical and problem-solving skills. Often I would have to find out the name of the product in French, normally a few different terms, in order to effectively search the web and databases for French who either produced and manufacture, distribute or integrate those products.
As for my language skills, I was able to speak with the staff in the office, my host families and other French people more and more effectively.  At the end of my nine weeks, I was back to using my French easily.  Unfortunately, since I was in an English speaking environment I did not speak it as much, but I was told by everyone, both who knew my French before and those who I met that my French is extremely good.
Learning outside the classroom, in real-world situations is so important, as learning hard skills don’t always happen in the classroom.  Especially having been out of school and working in the professional world, I understand how different school and office life actually are.  Committing myself to continued learning, whatever that may be, is extremely important to me and I am thankful I was able to have this experience to contribute to my professional development.  I cannot wait to use the skills I gained here to further my development after graduation, and urge everyone to take advantage of any opportunity to develop themselves outside the classroom in an unfamiliar setting.

Kiley Quigley Wassenberg
U.S. Commercial Service
Paris, France | summer 2019