Claudia, I really wanted to ask about your career because you’re French but have lived in Sydney. So, you’re doing a journalism internship right now…Where are you interning? What’s it like?
I finished one internship in Guadeloupe (in the French Caribbeans) last month. I was working at the local news channel Guadeloupe 1ère which belongs to France Télévision. I interned as a reporter. It was really enriching, I worked and learned a lot. The people I worked with gave me such good advice! It was interesting to learn how to shoot with this typical tropical light, very bright and humid. I know this island quite well, my mum is from Guadeloupe, and I go there almost every year. Now I can say that I know this place even better! Currently I’m working still as an intern at a newspaper in Upper Normandy. I’m switching between paper and video. Video is my thing, I want to specialise, but it’s good to go back to writing, it is an exercise that I love and a different way to deal with news.
Where do you study in France? What’s university like in France? When I studied there, I got the impression it’s really hard to stand out and be the best and get great marks…
I studied in Paris, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines near Versailles, and Grenoble. I’ll live my last year as a student in Grenoble next year. Grenoble is ranked #1 French city to live in as a student. There is a big campus, a very rich student life, many associations and a good ambiance. I can’t really compare French universities to foreign ones, since I’ve never studied abroad. I can only say that the gap between high school and uni is important, and all the future-students are not on an equal footing. Many people give up their freshman year due to a bad orientation choice. French university in general is hard, programs are quite heavy, teachers are rather demanding. You need to be rigorous and really motivated to succeed and obtain great marks. University in France is nearly free, which is amazing. You get very important general knowledge during your studies, but it is quite common to see non-attending students.
Did you study at UTS when you visited Sydney (I did my journalism degree there)?
I did not study in Sydney, I came to Australia with a Working Holiday Visa, it was a different kind of experience.
Is it easy to get a job and work in journalism in France? Here…living in Sydney. It’s very tough. And you start on not very much money at all…what’s it like there?
It’s very tough here too. There are a lot of people who want to do this job, there is a lot of competition. After school you pile up temporary jobs, often underpaid. You often need to work like that for four to seven years before getting a permanent job. Your motivation, your daring personality, your contacts, and of course your ideas will make the difference.
What is your ultimate career dream?
I’d love to travel around the world, meet people who tell me their stories, and shoot documentaries about them. THE dream job!
Which city would you like your career to take you?
I don’t know about a city in particular. After my masters I’ll try to travel, maybe South or North America, or why not come back to Australia. I don’t know precisely, I’ll see with the opportunities I get. But since I was young, I’ve always pictured myself living in an English speaking country.
What’s it like to grow up in Versailles? Does it have a Parisian feel, or is it very ‘suburbia’?
Well, I’ve never lived in the city of Versailles but a small town not that far in the suburbs. Actually I’m not a city child, I’ve always lived in a house in the countryside. Someone who lives in Marseille or Strasbourg would assimilate “versaillais” to “parisiens” but they are not the same at all. Versailles is more bourgeois and calm. There isn’t this typical parisian vibe, even though both cities are 10kms from each other, they are really different.
What are the best places to visit in Versailles? The only thing you hear about is the palace. And the band Phoenix…
The palace is a landmark, the Petit Trianon, the queen’s hamlet as well. When you visit it, it’s hard to believe people actually lived here and it wasn’t just a setting for movies. Otherwise pretty much everything revolves around the Chateau de Versailles or its dwellers, particularly Marie-Antoinette. Also, it’s nice to wander in the antique dealers district and have lunch or just drinks at a terrace on sunny days.
So you are really gorgeous. I noticed a lot of French women just have hair that moves the right way and they don’t even have to try. How do you have such nice hair? What do you use?
I didn’t know I had particularly French hair, haha. I always thought I got it on the Guadeloupe side from my mum, very thin, very curly. Such a nightmare to style, especially the way I would like. In addition to that it’s so easily damaged. That’s why every three months I get a “keratin therapy” at the hairdresser, which strengthens and helps it to grow. Three days a week I use a Redken shampoo, “body full” for thin hair that gives volume. After the shampoo my tip to avoid dry hair is to put a very little bit of mask (L’Oréal professional intense repair) at the end of my hair and don’t rinse it. And every morning I spray a bit of Huile Extraordinaire for thin hair, to get it hydrated. I think that in general French women tend to keep their hair natural.
What are your favourite products to use on your skin?
I have a combination skin and I like to try new products since I haven’t found the perfect one. At the moment I use Biotherm products from the range “Purefect skin”. Every morning I put 50spf sunscreen on my face to prevent brown marks from Uriage. It’s also tinted like a BB cream so the complexion is uniform. Also the last step of my makeup is to use compact powder from Shiseido to prevent the skin from shining.
Do you know of any miracle French products that Australians don’t know about? Teach me! (When I lived in France I discovered the brands La Roche Posay and Bioderma and now I think those brands are cooler than Chanel!)
Yeah there are many brands much more efficient than Chanel or Dior and more affordable as well. I’m a huge fan of Vichy and Biotherm, brands that use thermal water. Avène also, especially during summer. The After Sun lotion is the best to repair your skin after exposing to the sun. I’ve used it for years and it helps to keep your tan longer. But you know what I miss some Aussie products, such as pawpaw or this gluten-free shampoo I used to buy at Coles, I’ve never found a better one since then!
When do you think you’ll come back to Australia? And if you do…what’s the first thing you want to see (or do)?
That’s the big question, I can’t even tell where I’ll be in 12 months. It depends on so much, and many things can happen in a year. That’s exciting though! But I wish I could come back soon. The first thing I want to do is to catch up with my friends, why not at the Courthouse or the Beresford, I don’t know if they are still trendy bars haha. And also feel the vibes of Sydney again! I skyped with a friend who told me that the city has changed since I came four years ago. I want to check that by myself!