ISIT 2013, France
Communication and marketing
Astrid Boitel graduated with a Master’s in Intercultural Communication and Translation in 2013. She’s managed to combine her passion for ballet with her professional goals. Today she holds an executive assistant/international communications manager position in the International Communications department of the Paris Opera Ballet School.
What did you study prior to starting ISIT?
I was steeped in the arts as a dance student at the Paris Opera Ballet School. I was sure that when I took up my studies again I would do something in the cultural sector, and more specifically, in the arts. After concentrating on literature in high school, I entered a special study program (“hypokhâgne”) to deepen my literary understanding and general knowledge. That’s where I discovered my interest for languages and culture. I wanted to work in the arts, and knowing how important the international element is in this field, I decided that language would provide a good path to enter this corner of the cultural sector.
I’m naturally curious, so ISIT’s focus on being open to the world was very appealing to me. But even more than that, I was attracted by the high level of language expertise ISIT offers its students. This internationally renowned expertise prepares you to act as a communication link between two people, two institutions or even two states that don’t speak the same language. I found the idea of being a bridge between languages extremely gratifying and personally enriching.
What are the advantages of an ISIT education?
- ISIT manages to offer a wide variety of subjects without detracting from its main goal, which is training us to be language experts. Beyond that, ISIT gives us access to the world, through ERASMUS exchanges, internships abroad and courses with native language professors, and constantly stimulates our natural curiosity. We practice working as professionals, which teaches us rigor and discipline, but we’re also driven by the “clash of cultures.” It’s this opportunity to take a step toward the other and provide a way to communicate between two people who are “foreign” to one another that I find so motivating.
- The professional attitude of our professors, coupled with their approachability and dedication, makes for a very personalized education. Our strengths are encouraged and our weaknesses supported. The combination means we’re able to progress both technically and emotionally.
- The many professional encounters ISIT makes possible prepare us for the working world. The chance to complete a sandwich course as part of the Master 2 as an apprentice gives us a real advantage for finding work after graduation.
- Intercultural skills are central to the school and not only as a subject, but as a way of life. They broaden our horizons, allowing us to gain a better understanding of the world and the cultural differences that we will encounter in our careers.
- I made some amazing friendships at ISIT that will last a long time. I also met incredibly motivating and passionate professors whom I’ll forever see as role models on a personal and professional level. Despite the huge responsibility of their roles, the directors of the master’s degree program are always attentive and ready to advice, inspiration and encouragement.
Since I was 15 years old, my goal has been to work in a cultural field, and specifically dance. Thanks to the confidence my professors at ISIT had in me and after a year spent completing a sandwich course, I’ve signed a contract as a civil servant. I’ll be working as an Executive Assistant at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Continuing the mission I started on my sandwich course, I now manage international relations for the school, which includes external communication in English, French and German, as well as overseeing an event I launched myself, the Summer School at Paris Opera Ballet, and tending to relations with journalists reporting on the “Little Opera Rats.” I’m also trained in management and finance so I can handle day-to-day administration tasks.
This job allows me to combine my language expertise—through translation, interpreting and managing international teams—with my taste for communication, through the many different people I work with, as well as my passion for dance.
In the future, I’d like to work with the School or even the Opera Ballet itself on international tours. Once I’ve gained enough experience at the Opera, I’d like to work for a company abroad.
Advice for candidates and future ISIT students?
- Whether you have a translation or communication profile, keep at it and don’t give up. Perseverance and hard work to achieve specific goals always pay off.
- Stay curious about everything, even those things that don’t seem very interesting at first. You’ll be surprised at what you discover and the people you meet.
- The advantage of being an ISIT student is that you learn to be adaptable. You can work anywhere and fit into any environment, because you’ve built solid intercultural foundations and developed a curiosity that allows you to work efficiently on any subject.
- Put your trust in the ISIT teaching staff. They give excellent advice and are there to train professionals, not students.