Qui sommes-nous?

Nous sommes deux gadzarts qui travaillons actuellement aux Etats Unis, Nicolas Horde (Ai.214) et Valentin Fehr (Cl.212).

Nicolas: 

J’ai fait le parcours US en 2016 puis fait un MS en Supply Chain Engineering à Georgia Tech, Atlanta. J’ai travaillé pour plusieurs entreprises dans leurs teams supply chain (Amazon & Home Depot) avant de bifurquer en Data Science (Cox Automotive). Aujourd’hui je travaille chez Meta dans leur team Data Engineering et je suis basé à San Francisco.

Valentin:

Après mon diplôme des Arts, j’ai postulé pour un PhD en Aerospace à Georgia Tech Atlanta, dans le laboratoire de combustion. Après deux ans, j’ai décidé de m'arrêter au niveau Master. Cela m’a permis de trouver du travail aux US, d’une part grâce au visa, d’autre part grâce à la reconnaissance de l’université. Je travaille maintenant pour Capgemini à Atlanta en tant que Consultant en Data Science pour des clients comme Cox Communications et Meta.



Pourquoi faire un MS aux Etats-Unis?

Un Master aux Etats-Unis est un diplôme très prestigieux qui ouvre énormément de portes que ce soit à l'international ou même en France. Parler anglais couramment permet en outre de se différencier fortement des autres candidats. Certaines grosses entreprises françaises ont aussi une très forte préférence pour les étudiants qui sont partis à l’étranger et placent un filtre à l'entrée. (école du top 10 + 1 année à l’etranger minimum)

Bien que le coût d’un Master soit très élevé (jusqu'à 100K par an pour les universités les plus chères), il existe de très nombreuses aides financières (bourses, possibilités de travailler dans un laboratoire sur le campus qui paie quasiment l'intégralité des frais de scolarité) et les salaires aux US sont beaucoup plus élevés qu’en France. (entre x2 et x5 suivant les secteurs comparé à la moyenne des jeunes diplômés en France)

En outre, il y a énormément d'opportunités aux Etats-Unis pour les jeunes ambitieux et certains secteurs recrutent énormément pour pallier au manque de main d'œuvre, notamment dans la tech.

Le Master ne dure “que” 2 ans (voir 1 pour certains) ce qui n’est pas très long considérant que les Américains mettent 4 ans à obtenir leur bachelor. De plus, de plus en plus de gadz viennent étudier aux Etats-Unis ce qui facilite les admissions pour les générations d'après car les retours des professeurs américains concernant les gadz sont en général très bons.




Différence entre un MS en France et aux Etats-Unis.

En France le parcours typique d'un ingénieur est 2 ans (ou 3) de classes prépa, puis 3 ans d'école d'ingénieur, après quoi on obtient le diplôme d'ingénieur. La plupart des écoles couvrent une grande partie des disciplines liées à l'ingénierie, rendant les élèves généralistes. Une fois sur le marché du travail, les boîtes savent qu’il faudra former les nouveaux diplômés pour les spécialiser.

Aux US, il n’y a pas de titres d'ingénieurs, les étudiants vont à l'université après le lycée. Très tôt, ils doivent choisir une spécialisation (Mechanical, Industrial, Electrical, etc). Après 4 ans, ils obtiennent leur diplôme d’undergrad: un Bachelor of Science. La plupart entrent ensuite sur le marché du travail sur lequel ils doivent tout de suite être performants car leur formation a déjà été très spécifique à une industrie particulière.

Certains continuent en Graduate School, pour obtenir un Master (2 ans) ou un PhD (5+ ans).  Ils sont alors rattachés à un labo, dans lequel ils feront de la recherche en parallèle de leur cours.

Il est aussi courant pour les Américains de revenir faire un Master ou un MBA, après quelques années sur le marché du travail pour obtenir un meilleur poste.



On peut venir faire un Master aux US après les Arts.

Peu d'Américains continuent après leur Bachelor. Pourtant, la recherche aux USA se fait principalement dans les universités par des étudiants en Master ou en PhD (graduate students). Elles ont donc toujours besoin de monde et les étrangers représentent la majeure partie de ces chercheurs.

Effectuer un Master après un diplôme des Arts est donc un très bon moyen de continuer son cursus, par exemple, pour quelqu'un qui n’aurait pas eu l’occasion de faire le parcours de son choix aux Arts. Cela permet de se spécialiser dans un domaine particulier tout en ouvrant les portes pour pouvoir travailler aux US.

Le processus de candidature demandera le niveau d'études atteint, le plus simple étant de considérer le diplôme des arts comme un Master en Mechanical Engineering. De plus, il faudra préciser une discipline particulière, correspondant à un laboratoire de recherche de l'université. 

En effet, chaque élève en grad school est rattaché à un labo, où il effectuera ses recherches.

Un autre point important est qu’il est parfois plus facile de postuler après avoir reçu le diplôme des Arts et travaillé quelques années. L’immense majorité des américains qui font un MS travaillent quelques années après leur bachelor et acquièrent de l'expérience ce qui leur permet d’obtenir un travail très facilement pendant leur Master.

Ceux qui font le parcours US (2eme annee à P2 puis 3A aux US) ont l'inconvénient de ne pas avoir eu de full time job et donc sont désavantagés lors de leur recherche du premier emploi comparé à ceux qui ont travaillé quelques années avant de postuler à un Master.



Travailler aux USA.

Il est nécessaire d'être étudiant aux US pour plus de 2 semestres consécutifs (la nuance est importante, les étudiants qui passent par GT Lorraine ne sont en général pas éligibles car il ne reste qu’un semestre à Atlanta, il existe des thuysses pour rester cependant et étaler les cours sur 2 semestres via un assistantship ou continuer en PhD mais cela reste compliqué) pour être éligible à l’OPT (Optional Practical Training) qui durent 2 ans + 1 an pour les programmes STEM. 

Les étudiants doivent alors trouver une entreprise qui accepte les étudiants internationaux et leur “sponsorisent” un H1B qui est un visa non-immigrant et qui est attribué suivant une loterie. Une fois le H1B obtenu, les salariés peuvent rester 3 ans + 3 ans d’extension. En général, les entreprises sponsorisent alors la Green Card qui est un visa immigrant et qui permet de rester indéfiniment. 

Le plus dur consiste à trouver une entreprise qui soit prête à sponsoriser des internationaux d'où l'importance d’avoir un solide réseau d’alumni pour aider dans la recherche d’emploi et d'être proactif dans la recherche de travail.

Certains secteurs sont beaucoup plus attrayants si le but est de rester (industrial engineering et computer science notamment) tandis que certains sont tres difficiles à cause des citizenship clearance (aerospace).

Interview with Jean-Luc Nauleau (An 81), AFAM board member since 2007

 

AFAM: hello, Jean-Luc and thank you for your time. How have you become acquainted with AFAM?


Jean-Luc: I’ve known Eric Benhamou (AFAM president in 2007-2020, President Emeritus) for many years. He is a long-time friend. Eric contacted me and asked to join the board at the very beginning of AFAM, in 2007. I am with AFAM from the first days of the organization existence.

AFAM: When and why did you decide to help American Friends of Arts et Metiers? What was your main motivation?

Jean-Luc: That’s a good question. When Eric asked me to join AFAM, it made a lot of sense. First of all, when I arrived in the USA in 1985 to study in Santa Clara University and later when I stayed in the US, opened my first startup, I did not have enough interactions with other French entrepreneurs, gadz’arts or not. My very first entrepreneurship steps would have been different if I had more connections. Remembering my first business failures and missed opportunities in the nineties , I was very happy to join the organization which mission was to strengthen the community of alumni and students residing in the US and to develop and nurture partnerships and relationships with universities, companies and other partners.

Second, Eric Benhamou was my motivation. The AFAM mission was not so clearly defined yet but when a friend needs help to conduct a project, we are certainly here to lend a helping hand following the best gadz’arts tradition of solidarity. In 2007 Eric was looking for gadz’arts- entrepreneurs to join the board , I was still  an executive of a semi-conductor company and had been doing business is the Silicon Valley for over 20 years. I had a good profile. My company had offices in Europe and Asia as well and I thought I could make a difference for other gadz’arts coming to the US by offering them some connections, organizing events.

In the late nineties, the datacom business was booming and many French entrepreneurs had successful businesses here in the Valley. Being able to exchange ideas and establish a business relationship with some of them would have been beneficial to my own venture.

 Louis Magne (An 130), one of the most distinguished alumni who died at age 106 in 2019 and whose achievements we remembered again on December 8th this year, the day of this birthday, - made a sizable grant to AFAM back in 2009. It meant that we could do things together with other active gadz’arts to expand AFAM programs across the US.

AFAM: What did you do for AFAM at the beginning for your volunteering experience? What is your role inside the organization now?

Jean-Luc: As AFAM board member, at the beginning my role was to help students who were coming to American Universities. Then after the launch of the Shasta program in 2010 – to help students find internships. At some point, I was less involved in AFAM activities. Other gadz’arts volunteers took the role of a students’ guides, helpers, counselors and referrers.

A few weeks ago, AFAM launched a new Yosemite mentorship program - named after a Californian national park, Yosemite program is designed to help existing and future entrepreneurs understand and develop their companies in the USA.

I am one of the Yosemite mentors along with Xavier Wartelle, Michel Vulpillat, Marc Amblard and Philippe Laurent.

So, this is a new development not only for AFAM (as AFAM targets entrepreneurs with a new program for the first time), but also a new step for me in my long journey alongside AFAM.


AFAM: Do you have any previous experience helping non-profit organizations? Any non-profit you knew of and helped to when you were a student at Arts et Metiers?

Jean-Luc: I realized that I always liked to be in contact with students, to offer them opportunities and to help them out. One of my most exciting volunteering experiences was about helping French-American students from the San Francisco French-American International School to get acquainted with Mexican culture. I am French, living in the US and I love Mexico. So, the idea of encouraging cultural exchange was natural to me.

In 2008 I sponsored a journey to Mexico for 17 French American high school students. We all traveled to Baja California a  stretch of land between the Pacific ocean and the Sea of Cortez , Those students had the opportunity to touch whales in the Bay of San Ignaciao , We visited Mexican schools in very remote areas and established relations with the teachers  there . It was a magical experience for the students, teachers and myself. It was about connecting young people who could maybe start environmental projects in the future.

AFAM: Please tell us a few words about yourself and your current projects. You lived in California and now you are in Colorado. Do you come often back to France?

Jean-Luc: I came in California in 1985 for post-graduate studies after Arts et Metiers. After completing my master’s degree at Santa Clara University, I joined a semi-conductor  startup  located in  SF bay area. The Business was growing rapidly and I decided to stay in the U.S.

In 2018 I moved to Colorado,  I love the outdoors and Western Colorado has so much to offer. After 30 years in the valley, I decided to go for a quieter setting and environment, out of busy life. My house is at 7300 feet in elevation, Elks and Bears  are my new neighbors … I travel back to California very often as I still have business ventures there.

AFAM: Anything you’d like to wish to AFAM?

Jean-Luc: First of all, Happy Holidays to AFAM team! I hope AFAM will expand and continue networking, exchanges and other activities in after COVID-19 times. We all want that our post-pandemic life go to normal, or even become better than that!

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Jean-Luc in Colorado ( photo: courtesy of Jean-Luc)

How you can help AFAM, our community and our students?

You can easily donate to AFAM: here

You can help AFAM: by becoming a Shasta mentor or our expert/referrer

You can share your ideas with AFAM community manager or any member of our team

Please read other interviews of "Giving back to your community" series:

With Valentin Fehr (Cl 212), our new representive in Atlanta region

With Alain Mutschler ( Ch 190), our Shasta mentor

With Michel Vulpillat (Ch 183), AFAM Southern California representative

With Jean Pommier (An 183), AFAM board member, Shasta committee member and Shasta mentor

2021 is over. What did this year bring to our Arts et Metiers community in the US, to our school and la SOCE?

In 2021 the world was still in pandemic mode as COVID-19 continued its worldwide spread. We hope that the new 2022 will be better with more face-to-face social interactions, less stress and more exciting and new projects. Hopefully in 2022 the pandemic will not dominate our lives.

Looking back to 2021, we would like to mention the following events and reads:

January 2021

  • Some of gadz are struggling in the times of COVID-19. Direct Arts et Metiers TV talked about difficulties and opportunities for gadz'arts in 2021:

https://tv.arts-et-metiers.fr/emission4-lemploi-des-gadzarts-face-a-la-crise/

February 2021

March 2021

April 2021

May 2021

June 2021

July 2021

August 2021

Summer break for everyone!

September 2021

October 2021

November 2021

December 2021

HAPPY NEW 2022 to everyone!!!

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AFAM community manager Albina Patou-Chebykina visited the school in November 2021. Every year AFAM community manager visits the school to meet the school teams and inform students about our programs. The exception was made in 2020 because of the Covid-19 spread.

During the one-week November visit Albina met students and faculty members on Paris, Angers and Cluny campuses.

The first day of her visit Albina met with la SOCE representative Cyril Poinsot (Cl 193), former International Projects VP at la SOCE and current international coordinator at ParisTech Alumni.

Cyril mentioned the importance of AFAM's role in students' lives: "For more than 10 years, AFAM has been a helpful support for our Arts & Métiers students attracted by the US. Whatever their target (studies, internships...), AFAM can help while preparing their project, and during their stay."

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Cyril Poinsot and Albina Patou-Chebykina during the meeting

 

Albina met parcours US and other 2nd and 3rd year Paris-based students to talk about Shasta internship program as well as a new entrepreneurship program Yosemite.

Parcours US students could listen to Ariel Cohen-Codar's (Ai 216) testimonial. Ariel could find a moment to come to the school's campus to talk about his experience at Columbia university while he was a parcours US student.

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Parcours US students at the meeting with Albina and Ariel

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Ariel Cohen-Codar talks about his American experience during the meeting with parcours US students

 

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Reading a message from a 2020 parcours US student who is currently studying at UC Berkeley addressed to 2021 parcours US students

 

On Thursday on November 18th Albina came to Angers campus where she could meet students interested in the US. The day started with a conversation with Angers director Jean Quessada.

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The beautiful City of Angers

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Angers students during the Shasta meeting

 

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Hervé Vimond ( An 183) at the meeting with students

 

On Friday Albina took to the road to Cluny where she could meet the director Michel Jauzein, faculty members and the students.

Thanks to Professor Gérard Poulachon, director of LaBoMaP laboratory, Albina could visit the lab and learn about the research activities on Cluny campus and students projects.

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Gérard Poulachon, Professor and LaBoMaP director, in front of students' project (astronomical clock)

 

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Cluny campus

 

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Remains of the original building of the Cluny church, the biggest European church, completely destroyed during the French revolution of 1790

 

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Scarabée d'or is a big project accomplished by Cluny Arts et Metiers students

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Cluny students during the Shasta presentation made by Albina Patou-Chebykina and Merwan Benhabib (Ch 203)

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Merwan Benhabib (Ch 203) from California talks to Cluny students during the Shasta presentation

US Gadz energy first networking meeting took place on November 9th.

This first-of-its-kind meeting was organized by Patrice Brossard (Bo 195), DG Ameriques, and draw 13 participants, all gadz'arts working in the energy sector in the United States.

Energy sector with centers in Texas and California, is traditionally a very popular working area for gadz'arts based in the US. Our alumni work in such companies as Schlumberger, TOTAL, Subsea7, TechnipFMC, NOV as well as different renewable energy technologies groups and startups.

Patrice Brossard told us about the meeting:

"It was the 1st time that several Gadzarts from the Energy sector met to frame up our "Energy Gadzarts" networking group. My objective is to enhance networking activities among the Gadzarts in USA to help for business relationships in the Energy sector and also help out young Gadzarts to find internships. Next event will be held in person in January to kick-off this initiative."

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