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My summer as a florist in Paris

To be published on studentcom

Florist 1

After my study, I’m planning to go backpacking in Asia. Though it involves sacrifices, like not going on holidays, be careful no to spent too much, I’m sure it’s worth it. So two summers ago, I decided to stay in Paris and look for a summer job. I was not 18 at that moment so it was a bit of an issue to find one. After many attempt I found a kind florist that was happy to hire me for the summer.

I didn’t know anything about flowers. I have flowers in my garden but my only contact with them is when I see them through my room’s window.
Not only did I found a way to fund my project, I also developed a new passion.

The shop was located in the middle of Paris, in the ‘IXeme Arrondissement ‘. It was in a very lively area of Paris, the shop was right behind the ‘Boulevard Haussman’ where are the two biggest malls of Paris ‘Les Galleries Lafayette’ et ‘LePrintemps’. Though it was aFlorist 2 small shop, it was always busy because of its location. All the employees of the shops around and the shopping centre around came to buy flowers.

At the beginning I was not doing bouquets, I was doing handling and cleaning. But little by little I was given more responsibilities. I have learnt a lot from this job.

Firstly I have learnt about what it involved to work and have duties: e.g. be on time every morning ( I had to be at 8:30 at the shop), be focused ( careless mistake could be costly, for example putting some weed killer instead of fertiliser. It may seem funny but all the bottles look the same).

I have also learnt a lot about flowers obviously, to inform customers in need. I don’t claim knowing all the name of all the flowers but I know quite a few. And it helps me to stand out sometimes during interviews, it highlight the fact that I’m versatile.

I also have met very interesting people. I remember the first time I saw this man entering in the shop; he had a particular style, quite fancy. He was very passionate about flowers and we had quite a long talk about it. Actually he was a fashion designer, as the Fashion week approached he was looking for flowers to use during his runaway. We talked about different topics, he noticed my interest in journalism and told me he had friends in the press industry and offered me to forward my details to them. I’m still in touch with him and I promised him to have a drink together the next time I head to Paris. I also remember that other man that is selling diamond in a very famous brand.

The florist I was working for had partnerships with different brands: jewellery, clothes, cars, photographers etc.. . Each week my colleague and I delivered flowers to these brands. I was always nice and trying to talk to customers in charge of the flowers. Nonetheless one brand particularly appealed me: I can’t name it, it was a luxury diamond dealer. While delivering the flowers I was dreaming for a while imagining which ring my future husband was going to offer me for my proposal. And I think the diamond seller noticed it,; once he told me to come back after I was done with my work. I had no idea of what he wanted from me but I went anyway. He made try a ‘Diamond Rivière’ worth of £10 000. Can you imagine, I had one year of my tuition fees or my backpacking trip in Asia around my neck.

Above all, I felt in love (again) with the city of Paris, the city of love. Thou I have left it I’m still full of admiration and I would never be bored of it. I was often going to Paris during the year, but Paris in summer is another city than Paris during the rest of the year. All the agitation and the stress of the year are evacuated from the city; to leave their place to the calm and to give all its charm to the pretty capital.

Learning a new job in a different city was such an unforgettable experience. I got the chance to meet amazing people, to discover new places, new skills. If you are looking for a job or a placement and you can’t find something related to your field of study, take anything that comes. Don’t refuse a job on the pretext it won’t be useful. Each work experience will be beneficial as it will bring you something new and you will learn from it!

Summer Jobs: Let the Hunt Begin

In the summer, looking for a job is becoming worst than a lioness looking for some fresh meat to feed her offspring. Any piece of advice is good to take. So here are few tips to help you to find your way in the confusing and tough process of looking for a job.

 1)Be Ready

Make sure you always have an up-to-date CV and a cover letter. Update it as often as you can, don’t neglect any previous jobs or important tasks you have undertaken because any experience does matter. You can find many good templates on the internet, indeed Kent University’s website gives good pieces of advice here. Once you’ve written your CV have someone else read it – as many people as you can – spelling and grammatical mistakes can be crippling. Don’t forget to include any experience or achievement you are proud of on your CV. Your aim is to highlight the qualities that make you someone unique and interesting to hire: you have to stand out from the crowd! Because keep in mind that employers are skimming through thousands of cv’s and cover letters a day, this is why your CV must be clear and original.

2) Be open-minded 

If you’re looking for a job, take a chance on every opportunity that comes across; don’t be fussy! Though some jobs may seem undesirable  on paper. Make it clear in your head that no job will be a loss of time and you’ll gain something from it, no matter what you’re doing!

3) Necessity but Dignity

Even though money is an issue for you, a job shouldn’t include you selling your soul, your self-respect or your body for money. From the beginning, make it clear with your employer that relation you have with him/her is strictly professional for the avoidance of doubt.

4) Try Everywhere 

You can find classified adds on the internet. StudentJob is pretty good for this kind of research. Also don’t hesitate to go inside shops to canvass employers because many of them are waiting for students to come inside their store to show motivation. Never be afraid to ask, you may feel dumb in the moment but once you get your job you won’t anymore. Prick up your ear to every conversation you’re hearing, on the street, at a coffee, at the shop etc.. Someone may need help from students for the summer. I found a job by listening to some customers. They were buying some flowers and they were talking about the fact that the florist was their newspapers flowers supplier. So I asked them where they worked and they told me they were journalists. I said I was a journalism student, and they asked why I wouldn’t do an internship with them during the summer. It was out of the blue. The next day I was dropping them my CV and I eventually got the job.

5) Few examples of interesting jobs

  • Au Pair: This is a really nice job, you can do it abroad. You can work for some lovely families anywhere around the globe. You just have to pay your flight to go there and your personal dispenses. You’ll have to take care of their children and in exchange they will provide meal and accommodation for free. You can see further details on AuPairWorld.
  • You can try being a Tour Guide, if there’s a place you really like and you know its history. During summer, Tour Guides are very appreciated due to the amount of tourists.
  • Ambassador for brands: During the summer many brands are often looking for students to champion their products.

You now have all the elements for a successful summer job hunt!

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