AFAM: Hello Valentin and thank you for being a part of this new interview series “Giving back to your community”. Please let us know a few words about yourself. How long have you been living in the US and what are you doing in life?
Valentin: Hello Albina! After graduating from Arts et Metiers I joined Georgia Tech in Atlanta to get my master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering. Getting more and more involved in statistics, modeling, and data in general, I joined Capgemini US as a Data Science consultant in 2019. I have now been living in Atlanta Georgia for 6 years.
AFAM: Congratulations on your new role: President of Atlanta gadz group, AFAM representative in Atlanta region! Please tell us how come you decided to join AFAM as a new regional representative?
Valentin: I have always liked being involved in the gadz community, so leaving France so soon after graduating was a big split. However, I soon discovered that Atlanta usually has several gadz around, ranging from students at Georgia Tech to people just working and living here. As soon as I heard about events organized by AFAM around town I was in! And now that the opportunity to organize and facilitate these events has presented itself, I want to give back by making the gadz in Atlanta feel connected and let them know we can help them if they need.
AFAM: Do you have any previous experience donating/helping/volunteering for non-profit organizations back in France (may be when you were still an Arts et Metiers student) or in the US? What are your thoughts on being a volunteer?
Valentin: While I was a student at Arts et Metiers in Cluny it was part of our daily life to be involved in the association. This is where I learned that when so many contribute even just a bit, it can lead to great things.
Today, I would like to continue by helping current students or even Alumni know more about opportunities in the US. I would also like to continue to feel this sense of community here in Atlanta as a continuation of our experience at Arts et Metiers.
AFAM: What would you like to wish to AFAM team and to the gadz’ arts community in the US?
Valentin: Well, with the current context I wish we all get to meet in person soon!
I do also wish that the AFAM team and the US gadz community gets a wider reach, because I know a lot of students and alumni do want to move to the US. It usually is a tall order but knowing they can count on other gadz already here or on AFAM to help them is a big plus.
AFAM: It is summertime. What are the best things to do in Atlanta now? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Valentin: Atlanta is a bit ruthless during peak summer season! High temperature and high humidity makes it difficult to stay out for too long. However, “Shooting the Hooch” is an Atlanta classic, tubing down the Chattahoochee river on an inflatable donut. One of the only refreshing outside activities around! Another popular destination is Tybee Island, on the coast, for a weekend beach trip next to Savannah, GA.
Finally, the most popular place to hang out in Atlanta these days is anywhere along the Beltline. It is a bicycle track going through parts of the city and around which several hip places have opened lately, the most famous ones being Ponce City Market and Krog Street, where you can shop, eat, and drink before going on a walk or a bike trip.
AFAM: Valentin, thank you for your time and for this interview!
Midtown Atlanta skyline as seen from Georgia Tech's Bobby Dodd stadium
Martin Luther King's childhood home in Downtown Atlanta
Both pictures - courtesy of Valentin
How you can help AFAM, our community and our students?
You can easily donate to AFAM: here
Please read other interviews of "Giving back to your community" series:
With Michel Vulpillat (Ch 183), our new representative in Southern California
With Alain Mutschler ( Ch 190), our Shasta mentor
With Jean Pommier (An 183), AFAM board member, Shasta committee member and Shasta mentor
With Jean-Luc Nauleau ( An 81), AFAM board member