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Picture of Sophie Bonnefond Director of studies at Vatel Bordeaux

Find Sophie Bonnefond’s interview to discover her role at Vatel Bordeaux and learn more about our graduates through her eyes as Director of Studies.

“Hello, I am Sophie Bonnefond, I have been the Director of Studies for the Vatel School in Bordeaux for 5 years now.”

“Can you tell us more about your mission at Vatel Bordeaux?”

“My mission at school is to coordinate the teams, students, and professors in connection with the Vatel program that is put in place. There is a whole part of pedagogical engineering where we take care of developing the programs and accompanying the teachers on them. There is all the daily management of students with my teams, I do not do this alone. Everything that is the daily accompaniment for the little problems, big things, projects and also the courses. We also support students on the exams, final exams, to apprehend these moments that are intense and sometimes stressful for them. There is also all the disciplinary part, which is needed: control their presence, their participation, their behaviour too.  I am known for being strict on the uniform. The students represent the values of our school. Then, there is also this side of my mission that I take care of, the accompaniment on the following of their studies in 3rd year. The objective is to help them find something that looks like them that suits them, also accompany them throughout their career project. We follow the development of the students this is what I prefer in my work.”

“What is the baptism of promotion?”

“The baptism of promotion has been in place since the beginnings of Vatel Bordeaux. It takes place before the graduation exam of the students in a different castle every time. Each promotion has its castle for 30 years. They discover the castle, the property, the winemaking. So, this is an appreciated event for us and the students, it is to celebrate the end of their studies and the end of this journey. The baptism of promotion rewards this accomplishment, after the time spent accompanying them, framing them, getting angry, boosting them. At the same time, it is a moment when they will all release the pressure, the requirement that we have on them around a moment that is friendly and rich in emotion. We saw them grow and they’ve made us grow too. It’s always emotional to see them take off right after this exam.”

“How do you feel about the students you accompany as the Director of studies?”

“My main philosophy that we put in place in Vatel Bordeaux, is that we don’t have this students-director of studies relationship or student-professor relationship. We exchange with them from professional to professional. It is interesting to see them develop. I am always really proud during the exam period especially the great oral that we have in 3rd year when we see them in a professional context. Pupae turn into butterflies, they are impressive, and we see that all this knowledge has served them to apprehend the future.”

“Thank you, Sophie!”

“We look forward to meeting you, my team and I at Vatel Bordeaux during your entrance appointment where we will introduce you to all the departments of the school and the life at Vatel Bordeaux school.

Learn more about our team with Marina Blezeau Interview.