Adrienne Hicks fell in love with Paris, and her affection has been
in The University of Southern Mississippi's study abroad program
in France through the Center for International and Continuing Education,
Hicks, a graduate of the Southern Miss marketing program, has returned
to France to help other students enjoy the same rewards she received
through an international education.
of the language and passion for French culture helped secure her
the position of assistant to the director for international relations
at Ecole Superieure du Commerce Exterieur (ESCE), a French business
school. At ESCE, she helps other students who want to enrich their
personal and professional lives through international exchange and
Hicks said of her position at ESCE. "I took the job to help
others benefit from international education, and for the opportunities
include the coordination of incoming students at ESCE, assisting
them with their transition to the school and helping the school
develop a strategic plan for programs both internally and externally.
ESCE is also examining the possibility of offering an MBA program
with an international emphasis, which Hicks would assist in developing.
director of international programs at ESCE, said Hicks stood out
among other exchange students during her year at ESCE. He said Hicks
has the personality and maturity necessary to deal with cross-cultural
communication essential to her position at the school.
been working all year long on a number of development projects,
such as summer programs, residential programs, master courses, all
of them to be delivered in English in our school for international
students, and it became quite clear that our office needed the support
of someone who had both the experience of the American higher education
system and the understanding of our own organization," Marmiesse
said. "Adrienne, at that time, was looking for an opportunity
to start her professional career in France and it seemed to me quite
obvious that she had the perfect profile for what we had in mind."
As a student
at Southern Miss, Hicks took two semesters of French at the Hattiesburg
campus, and was encouraged by her professors to continue her language
studies abroad. "They told me if I wanted to master the language,
I needed to go there (France)," Hicks said.
amazing for me to be able to go there and communicate," she
said. "That's been the biggest accomplishment, to understand
what's going on and communicate with other people."
director of the Southern Miss CICE, praised Hicks' pursuit of additional
study of the French language to master her skills. She said Hicks'
selection for the job at ESCE is evidence of her commitment to advanced
language study and Southern Miss' relationship with ESCE.
hiring of Adrienne is a testament to her language and intercultural
skills, and to ESCE's high regard for the caliber of students USM
sends there through our exchange program," Steen said. "Adrienne
is immensely capable and enthusiastic, and she'll be an asset to
their office. In fact, on her first day of work (Jan.12), she had
to contact me about one of ESCE's students studying at Southern
Miss this spring. She thought it only fitting that her first official
task in France involved Southern Miss."
Dr. Tim Hudson,
provost of Southern Miss' Hattiesburg campus and executive director
of the CICE, said the relationship between ESCE and Southern Miss
goes back more than a decade. "We wanted to have an opportunity
for professionals to have access to an education through a global
marketplace when we established the exchange program with ESCE,"
Hudson said. "It's turned out to be a wonderful relationship,
and Adrienne is an example of that."
she looked forward to returning to Paris. Though complete with the
hustle and bustle of a large international city, Paris, Hicks said,
is "a very laid-back atmosphere that you can submerge yourself
never a dull moment in Paris, with its diversity of culture and
the arts," she said. "There's always something to do."
traveled to London through the CICE study abroad programs, and said
the initial experience changed her forever. "You are opened
to a world that's not your own," she said of the experience
of international travel. "You're exposed to so much diversity."
Having an open
mind toward other cultures and ways of thinking is the key to gaining
the maximum benefit from international travel and education, she
said. "You can't expect people to conform to your ways,"
she said. "You have to be open to other people's opinions,
and not stereotype, and if you can do that, it will definitely change
you forever, and your outlook on life will be so different."