Our NYC Gadzarts took a great opportunity to network with other Grandes Ecoles Alumni during the annual AAGEF Afterwork in Midtown Manhattan this week.
AAGEF is the Federation of Grandes Ecoles Alumni on the East Coast. Arts et Métiers sits on the board of AAGEF, alongside with 20 Grandes Écoles. The Federation covers 3.000 alumni in the NY Metro area.
This week, AAGEF held its Fall Afterwork at O’Cabanon in Midtown Manhattan. 50 participants showed up and networked with alumni of various backgrounds: from engineers to diplomats, academics and bankers alike. 
Thanks to all the Gadzarts that proudly represented Arts et Métiers at this beautiful event!

Parcours US is one of the most popular international programs at Arts et Métiers. This year 26 students have been admitted to American Universities out of 28 "Parcours US" candidates.  For the next year the school has already received 60 requests for being a part of this program with only 36 available places.

The school has signed several agreements with Graduate Engineering Schools in the US, such as Georgia Tech, UC Berkeley, Texas A&M, Texas Tech to mention a few. Traditionally, most of our students choose to go to Georgia Institute of Technology and University of Berkeley as SF and Atlanta are very attractive cities with a lot of opportunities.

On September 7th new students based in the Bay Area gathered together on the initiative of Mattia Pelissou, Berkeley alumnus himself who works now for one of SF startups.

Welcome to the Bay Area and good luck to our students!

See you soon!

Last year AFAM introduced mentorship as part of our Shasta program. In 2019 we had already 10 students who benefited from the mentorship program.

As a part of our Shasta Special Edition in August we decided to ask our students about their experience with mentors and choose our Mentor of the Year!

AFAM asked to evaluate mentors according to the following criteria:

- skills

- attitude

- availability

We have received 5 replies on our survey. And the Winner is... Corentin Lazarus (Me 209) who worked with one of our students, helping Mohamed find an internship. Corentin got 10 out of 10 on all the criteria.

AFAM asked Corentin to give a small comment about our Shasta program and that's what he said:

"Thank you to the AFAM for giving me the opportunity to be a mentor this year. It is a great program that has been personally very rewarding to me. Being in the same shoes as my mentee almost 10 years ago when I was looking for an internship in the US, it was great to be able to give back and advise Mohamed in his search using my experience of the professional world in the US. We worked together, defined his brand, prioritized his objectives and goals for this internship, revamped his resume and worked on strategy to find internship opportunities, leveraging several networks of professionals. This work paid off and helped Mohamed secure an internship in oil&gas abroad, which will help him with his ultimate objective of being admitted to the France Petroleum Institute (IFP). As a mentor, the experience was very rewarding and refreshing seeing so much dynamism and drive in a young student. I thank the role of AFAM for selecting students who have a strong motivation and a real professional plan; these students are those who can benefit the most from this mentorship program. AFAM also does a great job pairing them with appropriate mentors and supporting students through other means, such as grants, visa counseling, knowledge sharing and more. I would encourage other alumni to join the program."

Thank you, Corentin and other Mentors, for helping our students and supporting our Shasta program!

We hope more alumni could join the program becoming our Mentors, Experts or Referrers.

Your AFAM Team

Illustration: Tomasz Walenta (source: https://www.actualites.uqam.ca/2014/epanouir-grace-au-mentorat)

5th of August, 2019, is International Exchange Day! Previously J1 Day (J1 is a type of visa, interns must get to be able to work in the US), International Exchange Day established in 2014, is a nationwide celebration of the power of international exchange.

Every year Arts et Métiers young students are coming to the US as J1 interns. They help companies achieve their project goals while gaining professional experience and improving technical skills. Every J1 journey is a special one, full of new discoveries, beautiful moments and memorable events!

As a non-profit, AFAM is advocating for more J1 engineering internships to be offered by American companies as they are truly a life changing experience and at the same time a great way for a company to have a diverse team.

If you want to know about our Shasta internship program, do not hesitate to have a look at our website:

- if you are a company and looking for engineering interns

- if you are an Art et Métiers alumnus/alumna and want to help

- if you are an Art et Métiers student

Celebrate Exchange Day with us and discover our collection of small stories from our former J1 interns!

Quentin, 2009, Tate, Georgia (26 miles from Atlanta)

When I was J1 intern, I worked hard in marble quarry to install quality measurement and kanban workflow. But on the other hand I enjoyed American fun : barbecue and baseball!

On the pictures (courtesy of Quentin): Quentin in 2009 at work in Tate, Basball game Dodgers (LA) vs Braves (Atlanta)

Raphaël, 2011, Houston, Texas

Premier jour à Houston dans le Texas, ville ultime du "public transportation", comprenez : "la voiture individuelle... Originaire de Paris, je venais tout juste d'arriver en tant que stagiaire dans une grande entreprise pétrolière. C'était mon premier jour et évidemment, il fallait s'alimenter ! Je décide donc de prendre mon courage à deux mains pour affronter cette ville où les routes s'empilent les unes au-dessus des autres dans les airs. Me voici donc à l'air libre marchant tranquillement sur le bord de la route. Un premier 4x4 s'arrête et me demande si je ne suis pas perdu... Étrange... Un second s'arrête et me demande si ma voiture est en panne! C'est là que j'ai réalisé que marcher dans Houston est plutôt inhabituel (notamment la zone où j'étais car ne vous méprenez pas il y a bien des zones plus piétonnes) et que le F150 (pick-up largement répandu) est le moyen officiel pour aller faire ces courses!

Deuxième jour je décide d'aller explorer le jardin public où paraît-il les alligators se promènent librement... Après en avoir aperçu un à une trentaine de mètres et m'être bien fait peur j'ai compris que c'était vrai! Cette ville allait être décidément pleine de surprises !

 

Photo credit: Photo via Texas A&M alumna Makenzie Noland's Facebook page

While riding in Houston's Brazos Bend State Park, a few cyclists were surprised by an alligator. Photo credit: www.bicycling.com

Gauthier, 2018, Rincon, Georgia (20 miles from Savannah, 240 from Atlanta and 110 miles from Charleston)

When I was a J1 intern, I experienced the American way of life from baseball and football game to a shooting range training session.

Photo credit: Savannah WTOC11 television website, picture taken during the event "Ladies. Guns. Ammo"

Martin, 2018, San Francisco, CA

When I was a J1 intern, I worked as an optical engineer with amazing engineers at Uber ATG. They taught me a lot and it led me to build myself a Newtonian telescope 🔭 !!

Photo credit: courtesy of Martin

Uber ATG's new office in SF

Photo credit: www.architecturaldigest.com

Florian, 2019, Northon Shores, Michigan (100 miles from Detroit, MI)

When I was a J1 Intern, I was working in a little town where finding a place to live was not easy. That is why I spent my first nights in the cheapest motel I could find and experienced there the best American motel cliches. At 10 pm, I entered the room, overheated in the Michigan early spring, flaked paint on the wall, dirty carpet on the floor, spots everywhere in the bathroom and mostly, a strong smell of old cigarettes saturating the air.
 
After a few nights there, my boss offered me to stay at his house until I find a place. I was really surprised by this act of kindness, I accepted and the whole family welcomed me so nicely : hunters, they made me taste venison they cooked, S'mores and other American dishes, they advised me for bank, phone, car and helped me in a lot in different ways, with rides, meeting people... I still don't believe how kind they were to me.
 
I left their place after two weeks when I bought a car, before finding a house. In Muskegon you can't go anywhere without a car, thus I became more independent and was able to find a better place to live than a motel. I spent an other week with an AirBnB host and then I finally find a house with a roommate.
 
I was really amazed by how welcoming and helpful Americans are. Everyone at work advised me in any way and that helped me a lot for my installation. The big fear of leaving home in France was reduced a lot after those first weeks surrounded by incredible people.
On the pictures: Bayleys Beach Retreat at Norton Shores and the city of Muskegon
Photo credit: lakem.com and rapidgrowthmedia.com
Thank you to all our alumni who shared these stories! Hopefully, more companies will offer J1 internship opportunities to French engineering students! Happy Exchange Day!

The New-York chapter of Arts et Métiers alumni took part in the annual AAGEF (French Grandes Ecoles Alumni Federation) regatta, cruising to a very honorable 4th place in the New-York harbor.

They then enjoyed a networking cocktail with other Grandes Ecoles alumni at the District, facing the New-York north cove Marina

Thanks to the 5 sailors and our supporters! See you next year for the win!

On the pictures:

The Gadz'arts Navy (Jean-Baptiste Commans, Alexis Garnier, Remi Honoré, Julien Bonnay, Arthur Chevalier)

Last photo: Networking cocktail at the District