“Why remote internships could be a real opportunity” - with Xavier Wartelle, Co-founder and CEO of Avatar Medical, Founding partner at big bang factory and AFAM CEO
Hello, Xavier, and thank you for your time! We would like to ask you a few questions about a remote internship.
AFAM: As far as I understand, you hired several interns who work remotely. How many remote interns do you have? What kind of tasks are they carrying out?
Xavier: At big bang factory, we currently work with Vipra and Suhail, two interns located in India (technically, we compensate them as consultants). They help us with marketing and business development, and we are very happy to have them on board. Actually, Vipra is also working for AVATAR MEDICAL and she did an outstanding job on the web site!
AFAM: Did you decide to hire remote interns because of Covid19 or will you be hiring remote interns in the future?
Xavier: We don’t have a company office at big bang factory. From day one, we have developed a remote corporate culture and an organization that enables us to work from anywhere as a team. and that proves to be could be very efficient! For instance, we are pretty good at using collaborative software tools. We have always been very efficient. In fact, Covid-19 didn’t make any difference for us and the remote interns fit perfectly in our organization.
AFAM: What do you find positive and what do you find challenging about having a remote intern?
Xavier: Remote internship can be a very positive experience for both the company and the interns. Although Vipra and Suhail are based in India, they can still participate in the vibrant life of dynamic French startups expanding in the US. For big bang factory, this is an opportunity to work with talented individuals with different backgrounds, and cultures.
The main challenge is to keep them included and motivated despite the distance and time difference. This requires to hire autonomous interns that don’t need constant supervision and encouragement. In terms of management, we need to precisely define tasks and responsibility and organize daily calls with them, even short.
AFAM: Do you think you will hire another remote intern in 2021 or 2022? Or will you better opt for an in-person internship program?
Xavier: We cannot have in-person interns and yes, we will hire other remote interns.
Thank you for sharing!
Illustration from https://teanabroad.org
On February 8-12 Lille campus organized International Week to allow Arts et Metiers students to learn more about international experiences from alumni and students.
This week was full of interesting online events, including discussions, round tables and workshops.
AFAM participated in three different events:
1) On Tuesday February 9th, AFAM Shasta committee members including Jean Pommier, Corentin Lazarus, Nicolas Horde and AFAM community manager Albina Patou-Chebykina participated in AFAM and Shasta presentation organized for Cluny campus students
2) On Wednesday AFAM operations committee member and DG Amériques Patrice Brossard shared his thoughts on his American journey and informed Lille students about AFAM and the Shasta program
3) On Friday Albina Patou and Patrice Brossard shared with students some tips and tricks on successful resume and practiced resume writing
Besides, on Thursday NYC-based alumnus Julien Sion shared his professional experience with the students attending the conference.
AFAM will be happy to participate in the future International Week next year!
To join the Shasta program, Arts et Metiers students can contact AFAM
Sébastien contacted AFAM back in 2018 when he was selected as one of Arts et Metiers students at dual degree program with Georgia Tech College of Engineering.
At the time, he was also looking for a future internship in the US with a possible start date on January 2019 or January 2020.
Since then, Sébastien has joined our Shasta program, has passed through the mentorship with Jean Pommier (An 183), and has found a desirable internship at Tesla while being a Georgia Tech student.
While he is getting ready to start his internship in February, we'll ask him a few questions about his journey on the way toward this excellent professional opportunity he was able to seize.
AFAM: Hello Sébastien and congratulations on your internship! Tell me a few words about your future internship at TESLA. What is your mission?
Sébastien: For my internship, I will be working with the Thermal Design team for Tesla Energy products (Megapack, Powerpack etc.). In these products, the cooling system developed by Tesla engineers is essential as the battery is very sensitive to temperature variation. For my internship, I will work on the development of thermal models for these powerpacks. I will also have to build experimental set-ups to validate these models and try to improve the cooling system. This is mostly about thermodynamics and heat transfer. Theory about these materials can be quite boring, but once you apply it to a real system, it becomes much more interesting!
AFAM: You were a Shasta student in 2018 and 2019. How did AFAM and our Shasta program help you in your internship search?
Sébastien: The Shasta program helped me understand the way I had to look for a job in the U.S. The culture in this country is significantly different from the French culture. The way you introduce yourself, the way you present your achievements, your skills and the way you are selected as an engineer are different. Thanks to the Shasta program, I have been able to shape my resume and pitch to match the American standard without compromising originality. Even though I did not find an internship in 2019, I used what I had learned when I tried a second time to apply for my current internship at Tesla.
AFAM: Your journey toward your dream internship was long. Besides your participation in the Shasta program what else helped make your dream come true. What experiences did you go through to gain new skills on your way towards your internship?
Sébastien: First, I think the most important is not how fast you reach your objective but how much you have learned during the process. The main additional experience that eventually helped me through this process was my research experience. Indeed, I had the opportunity to be a graduate research assistant at Georgia Tech for my master's thesis. I worked on developing a new cooling solution for electric motors in the automotive industry. I gained a lot of experience on a specific topic, and this is exactly what I was missing. As students from Arts et Metiers, we are known as "general engineers" in France. A lot of American companies are not used to this type of engineers as their university system is based on majors. Thus, for first engineering jobs like mechanical engineer or software engineer, it is really difficult to compete with students who worked 4 years with a focus on their major. As a result, thanks to this research experience, I think I acquired enough knowledge about cooling systems to have some chance to be accepted for this internship. Finally, networking, especially on LinkedIn has been an important factor.
AFAM: What will be the first thing (outside of work) you will do when you’ll start your internship?
Sébastien: Without covid, I would have probably tried to attend local conferences and seminars in the bay area to hear about new coming startups. But with the current situation, I will start working on some personal technical projects and try to create a small workshop at home.
AFAM: Thank you, Sébastien! Good luck with your new role and hope to see you soon!
Photo courtesy of Sébastien Sequeira
We will all agree that 2020 was defined by the covid-19 pandemic that shook the whole world.
For our community this pandemic meant cancellation of internships and studies abroad, loosing jobs for some of our alumni and review of professional and travel plans for others, no offline gatherings and a lot of ideas - realized and not - for online events!
What else did 2020 bring to AFAM, our school and our community?
First time gathering for our Atlanta group to celebrate Epiphany
14 years of Cordée de la Réussite celebrated on Angers campus
French Americans Innovation Days (FAID) Conference took place in College Station, TX
AFAM community manager went to NYC to meet NYC-based gadz
AFAM board election was announced. Call for candidates.
First online apero for gadz based in the US was organized
Laval Virtual is held online
A new research master " Advanced Manufacturing and materials Science" launched in partnership with Texas A&M University (TAMU) on Aix-en-Provence campus
3 Arts et Metiers engineering students obtained gold medals in regional WorldSkills competition
Arts et Metiers activity report 2019 is online
First offline gathering in New York after the lockdown
Reveille ton Etoile, workshop organized by la SOCE, West Coast group and gadz group of Canada
International Thursdays took place for Lille students in October and November
Gadz stories #1 (aerospace), first online thematic event, organized by West Coast group and AFAM
Online welcome chat for parcours US students organized by AFAM
Arts et Metiers Magazine celebrates its 100th anniversary
New HydroGadz team is created
Arts et Metiers TV: in search of partnerships
Happy new 2021 to all our community!
In November 2020, Patrice Brossard (Bo 195) became the new Délégué Général (DG) Amériques replacing Aurore Prévot ( Li 98) who has been holding this position since 2018.
Patrice is based in Houston, TX and is currently the Managing Director of DL Flange USA (Groupe Genoyer). He was an Operations Director at VALLOUREC Group prior to DL Flange USA. He started his international career in Africa as an engineer for TOTAL Ivory Coast at Abidjan.
AFAM asked Patrice about his new role and motivation to become the new DG Ameriques.
Patrice: “I would like to help young Gadzarts looking to join North and South American universities. In light of the unprecedented crisis due to the pandemic, it is especially important to develop Gadzarts relationships and strengthen networks building off Alumni solidarity. I would also like to work closer with the Regional Groups and become an active “international” representative on behalf of la SOCE”.
We are delighted to be working closely with Patrice to strengthen our vibrant gadz community in the US and help our students and alumni thrive.
Congratulations to Patrice and all the best for his new journey!