"The J-School was small enough to engage everyone as people with their own names"

"The J-School was small enough to engage everyone as people with their own names"

Maile Cannon, graduate from the Dual Degree Sciences Po/Columbia
  • Maile Cannon, graduated in 2010Maile Cannon, graduated in 2010

Pouvez-vous décrire votre parcours académique et professionnel? May you describe your academic and professional background?

For the past 8 years, I have been the only English dialogue coach based in China. My job is to help actors who must deliver film, TV or voice over performances in English.) I have worked with most of the A-list Chinese movie stars, as well as film directors I studied as an undergraduate. At the same time, I work as a voice actress, dubbing director, and post-production consultant. My subtitles have gone to Toronto and Venice. It's very behind the scenes and something no one thinks about but it's rewarding to see international film critics quote my translations and subtitles when writing about the films I've worked on. It is through my work that they are able to enter the story, and while my contribution is small, I feel this work is important.

Also, I recently started my own company here in Beijing, China. I work with foreign-language voice talent. I am partnered with a French-run company and together we produce the voice over/dubbing aspect of films, television shows, animation, video games, mobile apps and educational materials. I am presently contracted to produce voice work for the Universal Studios Theme Park in Beijing (not yet open).

Quel poste occupez-vous aujourd'hui? A quoi ressemble votre travail au quotidien? What is your job title today? How is your daily routine?

I am a freelancer, and now, more frequently, I'm the boss. I work when there is work, and these days I'm terribly busy. A large part of my day is listening to people, finding people, communicating between people, solving problems and resolving conflicts between people. What it looks like is me sitting in my flat wearing sweatpants, playing with my phone. However, in my head, there is so much happening. I spend only a small part of my time in the studio recording these days. When I'm in the studio, I am behind the soundboard directing actors, translating a lot of stuff, and convincing teams from different countries that really, everything is OK. Also, I still have to have a lot of coffees with a lot of people because I'm always looking for new talent and new jobs.

Quelles ont été les contributions de votre formation à la fonction que vous occupez aujourd'hui? What were the main takeaways from your degree?

Journalists in the dual degree are well trained to find things efficiently, write well, edit well, think of many ways to say one thing (limited by a word count, or style or audience) and they are taught not to be shy - they must go out into the world, ask questions and get the answers. They are also trained with the notion that their work is constantly evolving, so they must keep up with trends and constantly update their skills. All of these skills, as well as a kind of journalist spirit, informs my work today. Frankly, any freelancer or business owner can use all of these skills.

Quels souvenirs gardez-vous de votre école, de votre promotion, de vos enseignants? What memories did you keep from your school, your cohort, your teachers?

I loved Sciences Po, I loved Paris and I loved being in the intellectual, serious environment the school offered me. My strongest memories were interacting with my classmates, especially other international students, as well as the very accessible Sciences Po J-School faculty who treated us as individuals. I loved that the school was small enough to engage everyone as people with their own names.

Quels conseils donneriez-vous à un étudiant qui souhaiterait devenir journaliste aujourd'hui? What advice could you give to a student who would like to become a journalist?

Be a journalist if you must, but it's not a failure if you find - even during journalism school - that this work is not right for you. Being a journalist can be incredible, or it can be really lousy. It doesn't actually matter. The skills of the journalist are extremely transferable and if you think a bit outside of the box, you can take yourself in a lot of directions with these skills.

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