24 Oct 2011

The Regional Studies Association is a successful, growing - and global - organisation. It has hundreds of members in different parts of the world, yet it wouldn't be able to function without a dedicated team of permanent staff. Thankfully, we have such a team at the RSA office in Seaford and they are a wonderful group of people. The problem is that when we might have a chance to get to know them better (e.g. at conferences), they are often extremely busy. So, in the interests of getting to know everyone a bit better, the blog squad have asked some questions and the office team have responded with good grace and good humour!

First up is the RSA's very own Development Manager, Auréliane Beauclair...

What is your role at the RSA?
Officially and according to what is written on my business card, I am the Development Manager but my role here at the RSA expands far beyond this.

How long have you worked for the RSA?
It is going to be 4 years pretty soon.

Where do you come from?
I am French, born in Antananarivo, Madagascar where I lived for nearly ten years before moving to France where I stayed until my Baccalauréat. I left for England before the results came through and have been living in England for fifteen years now.

What did you do before you worked for the RSA?
If I remember correctly, I was a researcher at the University of Sussex but then, let’s be honest, nothing exists prior to the RSA!

What is the best thing about your job at the RSA?
When it’s fun, it’s real fun! I am part of a really great team who knows when to work extremely hard but who also knows how to laugh. I think I am very lucky to be part of it.

What is the most challenging part of your job?
Keeping up with the growth! Oh, and technology at times…

Tell us something about you that we don't know...
My contract does not allow me to divulge such information!

What do you do for fun when you're not working?
Spending as much time as possible with my very happy baby son. That includes walking an awful lot pushing a pram usually through mud, gravel or angry crowds of people in tiny shops, being creative with big Lego, being theatrical with puppets, cooking all sorts of dishes for him to then throw on the floor, singing (lullabies) and reading books that are made of soft fabric and are usually about rabbits, cats or dogs.

Is there such a thing as a 'typical' day in your job?
Yes and no. At times, my days can be very similar if I work on something specific such as publications, conferences or membership but otherwise, it is varied enough not to be a  typical ‘office job’.

If you could have an RSA conference anywhere, where would it be?
1) At the Plaza in New York. That would be for my pure indulgence and to tell people I was there.
2) In Papua New Guinea. A conference on Authenticity and the Regions. For my thirst for adventure.

If you could invite up to four famous individuals (from the past or present, e.g. Elvis, Marx, Gandhi) to a dinner party, who would you choose (you'd have to make them join the RSA first of course)?
I am afraid we do not offer ‘Deceased’ as one of our categories of memberships! I am not sure I would know what to say to famous people (either dead or alive) so, with the risk of sounding really boring, my four best friends, just to have a really  good time, be myself and talk about Gandhi, Elvis Presley, Karl Marx and Bill Clinton! My friends would join the RSA if I asked them to. But I don’t want them to. Because I work here.

Finally, since the RSA is an international organisation, would you mind telling us which languages you speak?
Well, mother tongue is French, I am fluent in English (well, sometimes), I can hold a conversation and an interview in Spanish and I have a diploma for professional purposes in German (whatever that means). Would very much like to learn Russian if anyone offers lessons?

Look out for more in the 'All About' series in future blog posts.

Thanks again to Auréliane for taking part!