Meet Manuel Sanchez, In charge of the program portfolio

Behind the scenes of iaelyon, all agree: « Manuel is a character! » Staying true to his youth dream of becoming a film director, he has always been appreciated in offices for his humor and has taken his different roles very seriously: « I have always plotted my life! When I was younger, I used to have fun imagining films with all the images that sprang to my mind ».

If the creativity of this former Modern Jazz dancer was then under the spotlights, it was followed by a major change of decor. In a reversal of fortune, Manuel dropped any hope of artistic career to toe the line and pass a scientific baccalaureate: "Because my dream was a crazy project! " Crazy enough to get back to it and try his luck in a Parisian cinema school entrance contest. Faced with the terrible impression of being an extra acting opposite himself, he rewinds the scene and his exaltations: "The film on which we were assessed was not over when I left the classroom without taking the exam. I understood later that I did not want to be a film director but an actor. Today, I am an actor here – an actor at iaelyon! ".

After all, from the stage to the lecture halls, it takes just a few steps and the same indication: lights, camera, action! Before even thinking about his future and his resume, Manuel sought to make a living and emancipate quickly from eleven siblings. It was without counting on a convincing elder brother who advised him to join the University. Picturing himself as an actor and being an interpreter: this is how Manuel « bravely » attended his DEUG in Applied Foreign Languages: "For a Moroccan man of Spanish origin, it was clearly an easy option”.

After briefly joining the army as a English Language Instructor and searching the ads for jobs, he joined the National Center for Distance Learning to become a perfect, or nearly perfect typist: "I was typing too slowly; there again, it was the wrong casting!", he jokes. Relegated to the service of manuscript reviewing, who thought he only needed “to prove himself to climb the administrative ladder”, will have to repeat the same part for thirteen long years.

Finally, he decided to take the competitive exams which allowed him to take on more responsibilities and be pushed into the arms of a perfect "stranger": iaelyon. Slow to change, he will have to learn to hide his stage fright and improvise: "You must keep up to pace", says the former administrative assistant who likes to harmonize to ensure a common pulsation. A talent he undoubtedly kept hidden in his repertoire and which helped him however become manager of a department: "I found myself at the head of seventeen people! What I liked best was to practice a differentiated management and adapt to individual sensitivities. My life is forged by iaelyon !"

A commitment which will allow him to earn the title of coordinator of the International Week. An Oscar he does not fail to honor, including through the organization of the first Stars Awards ceremony for the 10th edition of the International Week: "For this glamorous event, I required that everyone be dressed for a gala and I worked on the staging on the basis of the Star Wars music! I’m trying to cheer people up and bringing a touch of humor and lightness!" says "Weather Man", "who sets the air conditioner to high position so that everybody feels comfortable".

Regarding this hyper-sensitivity expressed in captions, it simply shows that in sixty years, the theater of life turned him into a man with empathy… "I am as old as iaelyon, the age of reason!", he says again with a laugh covering his blushing smile. Because he usually shares these secrets on his years of experience with his students: "I have always been an average student who did not know where he was going and I suffered from this lack of dialogue. Today, I cannot help but listen to those who do not enough listen to themselves". At student fairs, he will not hesitate to take high school students off to a corner for a little advice. A way to remind their parents that work starts now if you don’t want to be a spectator in your own life later!

Because he is so committed, Manuel finds it hard to imagine the day when the curtain will come down, the day when he will have to say goodbye to the University halls: "My life is forged by iaelyon ! It is hard to think about bowing out. I met Jérôme Rive when he was a student… Retirement will probably ring the departure bell". Manuel would have been tempted two years ago to register again in the first year of the Bachelor’s in Applied Foreign Languages to turn the clock back; but really, his greatest source of pride is to always have been on the ground floor: To see the corporate image develop, staff increase and even his team pose as his favorite icon back in the sixties. Because he never set sights on taking over top billing or the highest grade posts within the administration – according to him, due to lack of courage and self-assurance – his greatest success is undoubtedly to have fulfilled "a real function". As if they wanted to push him around in his humbleness, his colleagues and professors go as far as considering him as « the soul of iaelyon »; he only asks to be remembered one day as « "Manuel, the fun-loving man", « or rather », he corrects himself, "a fun and loving man ".