Voices (ISL Stories)

Meet Camille Verdier

Learn more about Camille Verdier, Alumni (Class of 2012, attended from Preschool until 12th Grade)

Where are you living now?
In Paris, France
What did you do after you left ISL?
I went straight to a journalism school in Paris, ESJ Paris (Ecole Supérieur de Journalisme à Paris). I somehow managed to obtain two Master 2 degrees in only four years. And then went straight to work after that.
What did you study at University?
I studied journalism and more particularly broadcast journalism. I was trained to research stories, conduct interviews, edit, film, and even present as a newscaster. 
What are you doing now?
I’m taking a few months off, having had 55 hour weeks at my previous job that drained my energy but was a truly fulfilling experience. However this time is not going to waste as I am setting up my own production company for an international news channel that will officially open in March 2021 if all goes well.
Before that I started working as a field producer for CNN and Reuters where I covered amongst plenty of other things the American and French Presidential Elections. I was then called upon to create from scratch, build and work on a prime time show for i24news. I worked afterwards with quite a few companies, France 24 and AFP amongst others, before finally settling down as a Senior Producer for RT France in charge of my own team of 20 journalists. By then, I was a breaking news specialist and learned to not count my hours.

Do you think that your time at ISL helped you pursue this? If yes, how? 
Oh yes, firstly because ISL taught me English. And that, in France, is incredibly valuable. It gave me a huge advantage over my fellow colleagues and I managed to grab amazing opportunities thanks to this.

ISL also taught me teamwork. This becomes a key element when you are forced to work and cooperate with people you don’t get along with. You learn to stay calm and find a solution to move on.
What advantages has studying at ISL given you?
It has enabled me to keep an open mind and accept everyone as they are, whether it be concerning their personality, nationality, culture etc. Studying at ISL has also given me a different view on education and made me realize that we were actually ahead of our time compared to, for example, French schools. A simple example: technology. Thanks to ISL and learning to type at an early age and taught to use a computer, I realized when chatting with my friends that quite a few have a lack of knowledge on how to do proper research or thoroughly use Word (for example).
What advice would you give students to help them make the most of their time at ISL?
Just enjoy it. It’s a unique opportunity that not everyone has. Even though it may not seem like it in the moment, when you think back to the relationships we had with teachers, the tools that were handed to us, we were truly blessed with an amazing education. My one true advice: everything you are taught in school will come in handy one day. Except calculus... I haven’t used it once since!
Were you involved in any clubs/activities at ISL?
Honestly I don’t remember clearly, it seems so long ago. I’m sure I did band and maybe sports after school, but I don’t have that much memory of those moments.

What did you enjoy about them and what benefit do you think they have for students?
I mostly remember my friends going off to competitions in other countries for sports, theater, music, debates etc. And they always came back with a feeling of accomplishment, got to visit another country, and make new friends. It seemed like an incredible experience !
Describe some of the things that ISL does above and beyond teaching and learning:
The teachers, they are just incredible! I have seen first hand how teachers in other countries act towards kids, and it’s not the same at all! At ISL the teachers are invested, present, and always ready to help. 
ISL is also a huge melting pot of different nationalities and cultures. I still clearly remember International Day where we could embrace the different traditions from various countries and keep an open mind.
Something that really stuck with me was the respect for others. We were always taught to respect our peers, value their opinions, listen, and intervene if we see something we didn’t agree with. That is a life lesson I have kept with me and that actually helped a lot in my latest job. When you manage a crew, you have to take in consideration what your team is telling you, how they are feeling and respect their opinions.

If you could thank a teacher or staff member, who would it be?
Just one? I have a list! One teacher I would love to thank, but I am sure he doesn’t remember (which is ok!) would be Mr. Graham, my English IB teacher. He made me love books I never thought I would appreciate (King Lear by Shakespear in particular), and his way of teaching was just incredible and inspiring.  I loved going to class and hearing him “dumb-down” what in our mind were hard books. And always with a smile and so much energy. One day we were just talking in class, and he said something that I have kept with me my whole life when things were getting tough: if you fail, pick yourself up and fail better. 
If I can, I would love to give a shoutout to Mr Seth Ruef. I remember in Middle School studying film with him, and I have a very fond memory of when we reenacted a scene from a Bourne Identity movie. I still believe it was what planted the seed for later on, as I discovered the behind the scenes of film making, which then put me on the path of journalism.

Describe ISL in 5 words:
Respect, Inclusivity, Community, Well-being, Forward thinking


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