AFAM continues celebrating spring with our women Gadz'arts. Please meet Mathilde Deveraux (Bo 211), our Shasta Mentor, passionate about aviation, living and working in the US since 2014. Mathilde will tell us more about her life and work in the US and her enthusiasm for traveling.
I have always been passionate about aviation and understand the dynamics of a plane and the flight operations. I did my internships at Air France, and then at Airbus to gain the airframer experience. I started working in flight tests for the A320 Neo. That gave me more insights on how planes were tested. I then wanted to understand the maintenance operations and moved to Zodiac Services and to the USA. The aftermarket branch of the company. There I started as a Market and Program Analyst. I discovered the American market and understood how different it can be from the European one. I then moved to manage long term programs with American customers and understood with first-hand experience the complexity of the USA. I just recently took over the Boeing account and I am still discovering new things on aircraft maintenance and the supplier/customer relationship.
My work is a mix of project management, customer relationship and technical expertise. I work in a multidisciplinary environment, from airline mechanics to VP of Sales. Being a Gadzart helped me adapt my language to my audience and explain the situation with either technical or commercial words. The technical background allowed gaining the confidence of the shop and the project management the respect of the management team. I learned to be adaptive, innovative, flexible, and to learn fast.
Finally, the most important is to understand you cannot do anything alone and you need to be a team player and understand each player skills to bring the team to the top. This is not only true when you are a Gadzart, it is true for your whole career.
I first came to the USA to do a double diploma with the Georgia Institute of Technology, in Atlanta in 2013. I graduated in 2015, went back to France for work and missed the work environment of the USA so I came back a year later with a VIE. I felt I had more freedom and more possibilities to grow in the USA. In France, I was perceived as a Gadzart so I had to do mechanics. In the USA, if you can prove you can do it then you have the job, they care less about your studies and believe more in you.
“Believe in yourself. Never think you are not good enough, never stop trying”. We are setting our own limits and thus we need to believe in ourselves to go to where we want to be. I got scared when I was told I had a $5 million contract to manage but I grew to understand that if you want you can do anything. I am now managing the Boeing Program and starting to negotiate contracts with them while I feel I am still a young kid on the school bench. If you want to grow, don’t think that you are too young, too inexperienced, too anything for that position, just give it a try.
I enjoy traveling, hiking, discovering new places and meeting different people. Being in Atlanta, the biggest airport in the world, I can travel anywhere. My goal is to visit all 52 states before I leave the USA. I am currently at 48, with 2 planned in the coming months. The diversity in the USA makes almost every city unique.
Thank you, Mathilde, for sharing with us and for supporting AFAM!
This spring and summer AFAM continues interviewing smart and successful women gadz'arts living and working in the US. Today please meet Soazig Kaam (Bo 209) who will tell us about her life and work in San Francisco bay area.
1. Tell us about your career path and area of expertise today. How did it come about?
I have always wanted to work addressing Climate Change. I started in this field conducting research at the Center for the Built Environment (CBE). My research focused on Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) and energy efficiency in commercial buildings. Later, I specialized in data-driven approaches for smart HVAC controls in commercial buildings, with a focus on computer programming, data analysis and visualization. I just started my new job in the Global Sustainability Strategy team at Wework as a senior lead for the energy program. Prior to that, I worked as an energy engineer and data analyst at BuildingIQ, a technology-enabled services start-up provider of HVAC energy management solutions.
2. What do you do every day at work? How does being a Gadz’Arts help you in your everyday tasks and team management?
My work is a good mix of technical expertise, team and project management. At BuildingIQ, I held a cross-functional role connecting Strategic Operations, Product, R&D and Data Science. I developed products and tools to support our operations team with data analytics. I led projects to develop new products and services for smart HVAC controls. I also owned the energy audit piece of the business: acting as the technical expert in pre-sales calls and internal meetings. In the start-up environment, you are often the first person at your position, so you often have to “figure it out”. Being adaptable, creative, flexible and a fast-learner are big assets. In addition, being a team player and showing empathy are also critical for me. I can say that being a Gadz’Arts helped me develop and nurture these skills.
3. How did you come to the US- why and when? How is your work life different than in France?
Before starting my 3rd year at Art et Metiers ParisTech, I did an internship at the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at UC Berkeley. After graduating Arts et Métiers ParisTech in 2013, I started my grad program in Building Science/Architecture at UC Berkeley. I graduated in December 2016 and have been working in the Bay Area since then. I don’t have much experience working in France so I cannot really compare.
4. What is the best advice someone ever gave you? Why?
“You have so much potential and you have so much to offer, but you cannot be at your best if you don’t take care of yourself first.” Back in 2016, I had to drop out of the PhD program after 3 years (out of 5). It was hard for me to give up on this, but ultimately, I realized the timing and fit were not right and it started to take a toll on my mental health. Friends and family were really supportive and helped me realize that my work outside of academia could be as impactful as pursuing a PhD. Ultimately, I have decided to put my health and well-being first, gave up on the PhD, got a Master’s degree instead. The last 2.5 years have been so fulfilling. I have gained such valuable professional experience that helped me land my dream job in the city. I have realized that I am at my best where my life does not solely evolve around work and when I am able to find this nice work-life balance. From the free time I have gained, I was able to explore more: community projects, meeting new people, joining a dance company, playing music and exploring other creative outlets.
5. What is one favorite way to spend your free time (hobbies, weekend activities)?
The Bay Area has plenty of outdoor activities opportunities. I love going on hikes, camping, backpacking, running. The Bay is also a great place for creative experiences. I practice dance. I joined a hip-hop dance company in Oakland for 1 year, now I am mostly taking weekly classes. I play music. I used to be a lead vocal in a band here. Now, it’s mostly jam sessions between friends and occasional shows. I am a fashion designer. I was a design director and charity runway show producer for the UC Berkeley fashion club for 3 years.
Thank you again, Soazig, for sharing your experience and thoughts on life in the USA for Gadz'Arts! AFAM is grateful for your support.
We continue celebrating Spring together with our Gadz'Arts women residing in the US. Today please meet Fanny Thublier (Li 209)!
I am a Consultant at McKinsey & Company and I am based in San Francisco, CA.
Prior to joining McKinsey, I worked for Cisco Systems in Amsterdam where I was part of the Global Manufacturing Operations division. In 2015, I moved to the Silicon Valley to work for Cisco’s Data Center Group, before joining one of Cisco’s fastest growing startups in 2016 – Cisco Meraki.
Every day, I work side-by-side with my clients’ leadership team to help them solve a variety of business challenges, ranging from merger management to cost reduction efforts or new market entry. A lot of my time is spent in coaching them on how to successfully implement our recommended strategy, helping them scale and build their capabilities.
Being a Gadz’Arts taught me resiliency, adaptability and how to be a great team player. Having a multidisciplinary background is also an asset when working with cross functional teams.
I first came to the US in 2011 for an internship at Schlumberger in Houston, Texas (thanks to the AFAM!). I immediately fell in love with the country and was amazed by the countless career opportunities. When my internship ended, I promised myself to find a way to come back and live in the US! In 2015, I moved to San Francisco with Cisco systems and have been living there since then.
“If you don’t ask, you don’t get”. You are the sole owner of your career/life and have the power to make changes. If you let people know what you want and why, there is a chance you will obtain what you are looking for. If you fail, at least you tried and won’t have any regrets.
Traveling, hiking and catching up with friends are my favorite ways to spend my free time.
Thank you again, Fanny, for sharing your experience and thoughts on life in the USA for Gadz'Arts! AFAM is grateful for your support.
Spring is in full swing. International Woman's Day was celebrated on March 8th. On this occasion AFAM decided to interview a few bright Gadz'Arts women engineers living and working in the US to celebrate woman's achievement and success! Today please meet Basma Aiouche, CL 214 and MIT alumna.
I am currently working as a Mechanical Engineer at Schlumberger in the Houston area. This is my first job, fresh out of school: I was offered the opportunity and it sounded like a great experience, so I decided to seize it! Working in the oil industry may seem out-dated or not as tempting as booming new industries, but I wanted to know more about it as it is a rising industry in my home country.
I am part of a team that sustains equipment and tools running in the field. This could go from improving the reliability of a commercialized tool to reduce NPT (Non Productive Time) on high running costs well-sites to improving a part’s design to enhance manufacturability and cut costs. Having a multidisciplinary background is always of help and being a Gadz’Arts benefits for sure!
I came to the US in 2016 to pursue a Master’s degree at MIT. If you’d asked me a couple of years back, I’d have never thought that I’d cross the Atlantic Ocean for school or work but I’m here, grasping opportunities as they come along!
Sky’s the limit! That’s my motto since I was a little girl. If you work hard enough you can reach and achieve whatever you wish. You should strongly believe in yourself and face all obstacles standing on your way. I’m thankful to my parents who have been giving this advice for ever.
I enjoy spending some time with my friends on weekends. Whenever I get a chance, I drag them for some crazy roller-coasters at Six Flags in San Antonio!
Thank you, Basma, for sharing your experience and thoughts on life in the USA for Gadz'Arts! Happy spring to you and to all the women in our community!
We continue our rubric "Atlanta Chronicles" prepared by Arts et Métiers student Alexis Cassier who spent fall semester in Atlanta attending Georgia Tech. Thank you, Alexis, for sharing!
by Alexis Cassier:
Atlanta during fall is really great! Lot of sun and warm weather.
I really enjoyed cycling and running around the city. You can relax in Piedmont Park which is the biggest park in Atlanta. From there, people run and hang out on the Beltline, a former railway transformed into a pedestrian path. Also, really good bars and breweries stand along this path.
On the photo above: Piedmont Park
If you like some history, you can visit the Jimmy Carter center, which celebrate the President who is also a GT alumni, or the Capitol, which explains the history of Georgia and how politics works in the country!
Going a bit further, you can’t miss Edgewood and its neighborhood! That’s where Martin Luther King was born. Now, during the day, you can visit the memorial and by night, it’s one of the best places in Atlanta with really fun bars such as the Sister Louisa. Plus, for brunch and punch lovers, you can spend your whole Sunday afternoon listening to music and drinking in there.
In the summer and beginning of fall, there are lots of music festival across the city, in every park, where you can spend some great time.
Going back to downtown, Centennial Park is at the heart of the city. It was built for the 1996 Olympics. Lots of museum are around that place such as the famous World of Coca Cola (where everyone goes while in Atlanta) or the aquarium. But it gathers also a lot of people during Hawks (basketball), Falcons (football) or Atlanta United (soccer) games.
On the photo above: Centennial Park by night
Indeed, the stadiums are just across the street. And, in the US, you can’t miss sports games. Also, you should at least see a game in the brand-new Mercedes Stadium, which is just amazing! For soccer fans, the hometown team won the MLS championship while we were on campus and they have amazing supporters.
On the photo above: Atlanta United soccer game at Mercedes Stadium
Finally, the US is also all about food! My favorite doughnuts are in Homepark at Sublime Doughnuts. Midtown is also a great place to find restaurant, with excellent southern dishes.