What is « International Global Communications » ?
First, when we talk about “global communications”, we are referring to the strategic view of the entire communications discipline. The “global communications” manager is the person who oversees all of the different pieces of the communications puzzle: web/digital, advertising, public relations, events, etc. He or she might be managing multiple agencies or teams/departments within an organization. His or her responsibility is to ensure that all of the different communications campaigns work together in an integrated way, so that the whole is greater than the parts. Ideally, each set of strategies and tactics will work together to support, or amplify, the others, in order to meet company objectives. The second major responsibility of the global communications manager is to be the link between the communications function and the business as a whole. He or she will receive direction from senior leadership of the organization about business goals and objectives, then translate those into communications goals and objectives for potential communications campaigns. In addition, he or she will report back to senior leadership on the results achieved by these campaigns. When this work is done in the international context, it adds a responsibility of managing across borders and cultures.
What kind of training do you give students who are studying in this program?
After a couple of years of classes in “general culture” (also known as “liberal arts”) as well as introductory classes in business and communications studies, students begin to concentrate on learning the skills of “international global communication” in the third year of studies. On the communications side this includes an understanding of all of the different areas of communications (advertising, public relations, digital, events, etc.) and how they are managed. Classes in this area include the various functions fulfilled by both agencies and in-house at large companies. On the business side, students learn the basic vocabularies and processes of international business, how to measure the ROI of communications programs, how to work effectively with senior leadership, etc. These classes get more advanced throughout the fourth and fifth years. [Please visit the program description page for more information.]
How many internships will students do over the course of their time at ISCOM?
Each year, students are required to have one internship, the length of which varies over the course of the years they are at ISCOM, from three months in the first two years, to four months in the third year and six months in the fourth year. Our fifth-year program is a work-study program, with students working four days per week and in class one day per week, plus a week-long seminar every four to five weeks. In the international program, students must find internships in which they will work a majority of their time in English, on international missions/projects. The “international” requirements get stricter as the students’ education progresses. We strongly encourage all students to go abroad during either the four-month or six-month internship. Given Paris is a global business city, finding international internships locally is generally not a problem.
Does ISCOM help its students find internships or work-study placements?
ISCOM has an office dedicated to internships and we maintain a database of work-study placements. Students can access the internship database through our intranet, and it contains thousands of posts located around the worlds, usually submitted directly by companies interested in working with ISCOM students. It is, however, the student’s responsibility to find his or her internship or work-study placement. Looking for a job is an important skill to be learned. We support our students through coaching and help with CVs etc., but we tell students they must approach the companies themselves to begin the process. Furthermore, this is an excellent opportunity for students to begin building their professional networks!
Is your program designed only to train students for positions at large companies?
While it is true that large, international companies offer a very promising career path for students trained in international global communications, many of our former students are also working at communications agencies, both large and small. Furthermore, there are enormous new opportunities today in the start-up world. A successful start-up, especially in Europe, needs to “go international” from the beginning. This generally means they need an English-speaking communications/marketing person to take on lots of responsibilities for helping the company tell its story to international customers and investors. Our students are well-positioned to take on this kind of role, and many have a true entrepreneurial spirit!
Examples of companies and agencies where ISCOM international class students work today include: Disneyland Paris, Relais & Chateâux, Total, Lacoste, Group Clarins, Adidas, AXA France, JC Decaux, Levi’s Brand France, Chantelle, Guerlain, Alliance Healthcare, Royal Canin, iDTGV; Kering, Qatar Foundation, Pierre & Vacances, BNP Paribas Real Estate, London Creative, Heaven, Stream London, Ketchum, MediaCom, Havas Event, Euro RSCG C&O, Wunderman, Konbini, Ogilvy and Rumeur Publique.
Can students apply to both the French and the English-language program at the same time?
Prospective students should apply for only one program. However, during the admissions process – particularly the interview – students should indicate their interest in the other program so we can discuss the issue and make a determination together of which program is most appropriate. For example, in the case of a student with a very good level of English who took the French exams, we might propose they pass the exams in English as well. Or, in the case of a student who clearly does not have the correct level of English for the international program but who is otherwise an excellent candidate for ISCOM, we would propose they pass the French exams.
Do students who plan to study at ISCOM need to be fluent in French?
All instruction in the International Global Communications program at ISCOM is in English. However, to be comfortable working at a company in France, either in an internship or a “work-study” (alternance) position (available in our fifth year), students should have a basic level of French. Exchange students and students entering in our first, third and fourth-year programs will be given the option of taking French classes. Students interested in pursuing graduate work at ISCOM who do not speak French have the option of doing a two-year program with an intensive French training in their first year in order to be able to find a work-study position in their second year. Normally, we do not accept students who speak no French for our fifth-year program.
What type of accreditation do your programs have?
All five years of the post-secondary instruction offered by ISCOM have been certified by the French government to meet the necessary educational standards.
At the end of the 4th year State Certification Level II, at the end of the 5th year State Certification Level I.