I have this project to work as an « in the field coordinator » in disaster relief and as such I’ve tried to gain as much experience as I could in coordination and logistics.
I worked at Fidélia Assistance in Paris for two summers, as a medical transfer coordinator. I would get calls from our clients all over the world who were in emergency situations.
Fidélia Assistance is a branch of Covéa and handles the assistance operations of this leading insurance company that insures 1 in 4 French households.
In France, within most insurance contracts, subscribers get a guarantee of assistance. Should they happen to be in an emergency situation, anywhere in the world, Fidélia would deploy any necessary means to assist them and bring them back home if necessary.
My role was to organize and coordinate the medical transfers, while respecting the contract, the medical constraints and the client’s preferences, as well as trying to reduce the operational costs. Four factors that most often directly conflicted with each other. (official job description – French only)
The job puts you in high stress situations. You have to deal people that are panicked, scared, and sometimes do not understand the local language. Some of them are just starting to grieve the person they’ve been sharing their life with.
As their main contact with France, I was also in charge of providing them with moral and material support. The clients see you as the person that will bring them home. So when other constraints get in the way (medical, legal, …) you sometimes are the focal point of all the frustrations. With huge emphasis on empathy and professionalism, the training I received allowed me, through the phone, to make a difference.
Disneyland Resort Paris
I worked for two other summers as an event coordinator in the Entertainment Special Events department. My job was to organize and coordinate the Magic Music Days program.
Groups of high level amateur performers come from all over Europe to perform in the Disney parks. Dancers, orchestras, marching bands and choirs get a chance to showcase their talent to thousands of spectators.
From their arrival on the resort to the end of their performance, I was in charge of coordinating with the different departments at Disney: from security services to light technicians, from ticketing to accommodation.
I like the conductor metaphor: I would make all those professionals come together so that when I would announce show time, we can surpass expectations of both our performers —who are about to live what all recognized as being a once in a lifetime experience— and our guests —who rightfully expect a professional level out of a show on a Disney stage.
Our daily pride was to see the curtain go up on a show that once again had overcome all the hurdles of the day. From the little girl petrified by stage freight to the suspicious package that forces the evacuation of the venue 2 hours before show time.