Sciences Po students doing an internship in the United States have the possibility, subject to resources, to apply for the Marion Bruley Mobility Grant, financed by the Sciences Po American Foundation. This year a student from the School of Public Affairs, Farrah Trari, was chosen as the recipient of this scholarship and is currently doing an internship in New York.
Can you describe your academic background so far?
I enrolled in Sciences Po as an undergraduate student at the Franco-German European campus in Nancy. Afterwards, wanting to move away from a European context, I spent my third year abroad at the University of Texas in Austin. This experience reinforced my desire to orient my career towards the international sphere, so I chose to join the English track of the Master in Public Policy, in the Culture stream, entitled Cultural Policy and Management, the courses of which are more focused on international cultural policies. After a year spent almost entirely on Zoom, I decided to take a gap year in order to understand the professional cultural sector and to refine my future career path.
This year, you chose to do a gap year in order to complete two 6-month internships. Could you briefly describe the first internship you did during your gap year?
When I decided to take a gap year, one of my main objectives was to have one experience in the private sector and another in the public sector. This is what I had the chance to do when I joined the cultural engineering agency "abcd culture" for my first internship. It’s a consulting firm which stands at the intersection between culture and urban planning and works with public and private actors in the implementation of their cultural projects. The internship was very formative and allowed me to grasp the different workings of cultural action at a local authorities level.
You are ending your gap year in the best possible way as you have been selected as the winner of the Marion Bruley Scholarship for your second internship. Could you tell us a little more about this mobility grant and the selection process?
I was very fortunate and honoured to be awarded the Marion Bruley Scholarship for my second internship at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York/Villa Albertine. This scholarship is dedicated to Sciences Po students who are about to undertake an internship in the United States, particularly in French embassies or consulates or in international institutions. The selection process consists of writing a cover letter and completing an application with transcripts and a CV.
Could you explain the internship for which you were awarded the scholarship?
I am doing my internship in the artistic exchange department of the Cultural Services. The department aims to promote French culture and artists in the fields of performing arts, visual arts and music. The department's actions are mainly based on grant programs set up by the cultural services, but also on artistic residencies through the very recently opened Villa Albertine, inaugurated in 2021 which offers 60 artistic residencies each year. As an intern, I support the cultural attaché and the project managers and am at the heart of various artistic projects. I am currently working on the FACE foundation grants, which allow French artists and curators to perform in the United States and collaborate with American institutions and artists. The missions are overall very varied and allow me to fully understand the functioning of international artistic exchanges.
How have the classes at the School of Public Affairs, and in particular the Cultural Policy and Management stream, helped you in this year of professional experience?
The courses offered in the Master in Public Policy, in the Cultural Policy and Management stream, were very useful in the context of my two internships. First of all, it allowed me to master the different cultural policies at both the French and international levels. The Culture in Global Cities Award course was particularly interesting because it was a practical case study that allowed me to immerse myself in the design of cultural policies in a chosen city. This was particularly useful during my first internship, which was at the crossroads between culture and urban planning. In addition, in my current internship, I am taking advantage of the knowledge acquired during the various courses, particularly concerning the American cultural system and its institutions, but also the functioning of the cultural and creative industries, of which the United States are major players.
Any advice for the students who might be hesitant to apply for the Marion Bruley Scholarship?
I would advise any student who is eligible for the Marion Bruley Scholarship to apply, first of all because the cost of living in the United States, and especially in New York, is not to be underestimated compared to the cost of living in France, even in Paris. This scholarship will give you the opportunity to not only support yourself, but to live a full life experience in the United States, allowing you to take advantage of the many cultural opportunities that the country offers.