Clémence Wurtz ’13

Major in International Business Administration

Clémence in New York

How did you know AUP was the place for you?

I spent a year in a French business school, but I soon realized the French education system wasn’t for me. When I found out about AUP, it seemed like a foregone conclusion. AUP had everything I needed: an American education system in Paris, a city in my home country, where all my friends were! I really enjoyed classes. AUP was a place where we were constantly growing, challenging our views and constructing new ways of thinking. Students from all over the world brought their own unique perspectives and discussed and challenged them together. My relationships with professors were also great; we were more like partners than anything.

What have you been up to since leaving AUP?

After graduating, I spent three years working in marketing for Uber in France, but for the last four years I have been running my French clothing company dedicated to ready-to-wear bodysuits, Flair Bodysuits. I never planned to start my own business, but AUP really gave me entrepreneurial spirit as well as this open-minded way of seeing my career. Things are going great. I just got back from New York, where we inaugurated our pop-up store at the Saks Fifth Avenue department store. We’ve signed a contract with an agent who will now represent our brand in New York and Los Angeles. My advice to anyone just graduating is to find something you love, and then to work hard at it. Nothing happens overnight, you need to fight for it and be resilient. If the thing you love is not what you studied for, it doesn’t matter – so long as you are passionate and determined.

In your opinion, what are today’s most important global challenges?

Climate change and social inequality are two enormous, overlapping challenges that we have to fight for every day. (At Flair Bodysuits, we produce everything in France, and we mainly use eco-certified fabrics.) I believe education is vital to this fight. Girls’ education, in particular, has my attention. In many countries around the world, girls do not have the same rights to go to school. I also think it is important to recognize manual labor – “artisanal” production and local savoir faire – as vital to educational programs worldwide. We need to place craftmanship back at the center of education; it helps maintain our cultures and develop our creativity.