Meet Alex Lyzwa, a Silicon Valley International School (INTL) alum who began her educational journey in INTL’s* Kindergarten, building her foundation through a bilingual and multicultural education that would lead her to a successful professional career. Her time in the French Immersion Program at INTL not only influenced her personal interests, but also played a significant role in her becoming a successful individual in her current corporate marketing manager role at Sephora.
Early Foundations at INTL
Alex's connection with INTL dates back to 2001 when she started her bilingual journey in Kindergarten. Her ability to immerse herself in the language at school helped her at home as well as she was able to practice her French at home to an extent through her Haitian mother who picked it up as a second language.
The multicultural environment and the hours spent immersed in the French language shaped her personality both in and out of the classroom. This early exposure not only sparked her ongoing cultural interests but also set her apart in her academic and professional endeavors. The foundation laid at INTL provided more than just language skills; it instilled in Alex a deep appreciation for diversity and a unique perspective that she carries with her to this day.
Reflecting on her time at INTL, Alex shares, "[the school] had a notable influence on the music and media/entertainment I consumed from a young age. Because I was exposed to different cultures, music, films, and books in the classroom that I actually enjoyed, that would carry over into my free time at home. To this day, I still catch up on old French cartoons, listen to popular French music, and watch the latest French films on Netflix."
Differentiating Through Cultural Awareness
"The [INTL] educational experience greatly increased my awareness of other cultures as a whole. I was always taught in the classroom to respect my peers and their cultural backgrounds regardless of what they looked like. What I learned while there really expanded my worldview and understanding of different customs. Consideration and empathy may be easily overlooked as soft skills. However, I believe those are some of the most crucial skills to being a well-rounded individual - contributing to society, your studies, and your professional work with an open and empathetic mind!" Alex emphasizes.
With the multitude of diverse experiences that shaped Alex’s educational journey at INTL, the power of cultural celebration took center stage. Alex elaborated on one example that came to mind by saying, “I recall we used to celebrate different traditions or even holidays from different backgrounds in the classroom. I think there was a time where one student I was in class with who was Persian, and his parents, coordinated a Persian celebration in the classroom around the holidays allowing us all to get to know their food, culture, and history.”
The cultural awareness instilled during her time at INTL became a differentiator for Alex as she navigated through high school and college.
College Journey and Embracing Multiculturalism
After finishing her primary and high school education, Alex looked to continue her journey by pursuing higher education. She chose to attend Baylor University in Waco, Texas, a top private academic institution, where she earned her bachelor's degree in Marketing along with a minor in French, a decision heavily influenced by her positive experiences with the language at INTL.
“I really enjoyed my experience at Baylor. I always knew I wanted to go to a school that had great academics and that's exactly what I got. I've had some really amazing professors and mentors through the business school that I'm still connected with.”
Her academic choices were guided by the belief that maintaining her French language skills was not just a scholastic endeavor, but a lifelong commitment to embracing and celebrating multiculturalism.
Professional Expedition: A Full Circle
Post-graduation, Alex returned to the Bay Area, commencing her professional journey at SocialCode, a digital marketing agency in San Francisco. There, she worked as an Associate Account Manager, contributing to SEPHORA’s media strategy. After a year and a half, she took a pivotal step in her career, joining Thrive Causemetics, a beauty company, where she oversaw new and emerging paid channels, showcasing her expertise in the dynamic and ever-growing field of digital marketing.
Reflecting on her professional journey, Alex shared, "after spending 3.5 years at Thrive Causemetics scaling their emerging paid social strategy, I was offered a position at SEPHORA - a full circle moment for my professional career!"
Thriving at SEPHORA: A Managerial Role
Currently, Alex holds the position of Manager for Paid Social & Video at SEPHORA. In her role, she oversees the paid social strategy for channels in both US and Canadian markets. Additionally, she collaborates closely with SEPHORA’s organic social team to execute best-in-class advertising campaigns for the prestigious beauty retailer.
As she excels in her role, Alex navigates the intricate landscape of crafting messages that resonate with various cultural nuances and values. The foundation laid at INTL through her bilingualism and understanding of French culture has allowed her to mold campaigns and come up with strategies in the French-speaking markets of Canada has set herself apart from others in her industry. Alex's journey is a testament to how a multicultural education equips individuals with the tools needed to thrive in the globalized and diverse world of marketing.
As Alex looks ahead towards the future, she is fueled by the anticipation of both personal and professional growth. "I'm looking forward to continuing to grow in my new role at Sephora and making a positive impact on the beauty industry, especially for underrepresented communities."
The Proud Legacy of INTL
As INTL reflects on the successful path paved by Alex, it stands proud of the impactful journey of an alumna who has not only excelled in her professional endeavors, but has also utilized her bilingual and multicultural skills to contribute to the world.
If you are an INTL alumni who would like to have your own story shared with the community, please can submit an alumni update form here.
To be a part of all that INTL has to offer and start your international journey today, please visit INTL's admissions page.
*INTL was formerly known as International School of the Peninsula.