Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wednesday June 6: First Interview; Embassy visit and great conversation

This morning I had a scheduled interview with the guide manager for New Paris Walking Tours, Dario Valasagna. Dario brought me up to speed on the tour guiding industry in Paris and how they market to potential clients. The New Paris Walking Tour is the first company in Paris to offer a free tour and it seems to be paying off. The company guides over 125 people per day on average. It was invaluable to speak to a local about the industry and he put me in touch with other contacts that could prove to be just as valuable for both my academic research and personal curiousity. The afternoon was taken up by a visit to the U.S. Embassy which was great. We met with a Foreign Service Officer who walked us through the embassy operations and the details of foreign service positions. It was bittersweet for me because I actually missed the Foreign Service Exam this year because of our departure date for Paris. As my evening rolled on however, I met a new friend from Canada who made for great conversation and the time flew. Travel has a funny way of delivering unexpected but great experiences.