Current position: Liquid Formulation Support Manager, Production Department, Bayer Crop Science, Villefranche
Joined Bayer in: 2010, first on an internship then on an apprenticeship, with a short-term then a permanent employment contract
"An apprenticeship is a very good way of gradually preparing for working life and being operational right from your first job."
You are currently on a permanent employment contract with Bayer, the culmination of several internships and co-op programs...
My first experience with Bayer dates back to 2009, when I had a summer job in Villefranche. After that, I did my higher-education internship in process engineering at Bayer, then a vocational Bachelors degree on an apprenticeship and, with my manager's encouragement, I followed up with a apprenticeship in an engineering school.
What did you like, right from that period?
I liked seeing a plant operate "for real", with industrial-scale production plants. I liked seeing the theory I had learned at school being put into practice. Right from the beginning, I liked working in production and the atmosphere in Villefranche!
What sort of reception were you given during these periods?
I joined a really good team, who accepted me straight away and gave me a lot of support. I was trusted and given small projects to manage from beginning to end, on my own initiative - I was just given the overall vision and the objectives to be achieved. It was very rewarding and I learned a lot.
Was it the same for the three-year apprenticeship in the engineering school?
I had to find a topic that corresponded to the change up from technician to engineer. I was lucky enough to be involved in the construction of a new production plant. It was a vast, complex project - one of Bayer's biggest investments in recent years.
What did the job entail?
I worked on designing and planning the plant, as support for the team. Then I commissioned the plant for production, again with real latitude for initiative on my part.
Why was it so important to do your apprenticeship in a major group?
I wanted to be involved in large-scale projects and receive a real support. I was also able to spend three months getting to know the Dormagen facility in Germany.
What do you see as the main benefit of doing a apprenticeship?
It's a very good way of preparing for working life and being operational right from your first job, of going from the theory you learn as a student to the real-life situation on the job, where unexpected contingencies crop up every day. Four years of apprenticeship on a variety of assignments taught me all about the inner workings of a plant.
Is handling unforeseen events your main motivation today?
You never get bored in production! You're continually going back and forth between background projects aimed at improving production processes and operators' working conditions, and solving unforeseeable everyday problems. It's a multidisciplinary approach that brings me into contact with the technical department, Quality, HSE (1) and Production. And we're lucky enough to have substantial resources for carrying out our projects!
(1) Health Safety & Environment