[Live my apprentice life - Episode 1/3 ] My first steps at Naval Group

16 December 2020 Human ressources Episode

At the start of the 2020 academic year, Naval Group welcomed more than 400 work-study students. How is their experience going, how do they perceive our activities, what are their future aspirations and dreams? Mikaël, Charlotte, Rémi and Perrine are work-study students at the Naval Group sites of Brest, Cherbourg, Nantes (Technocampus Ocean) and Toulon respectively. They have accepted to share their experience with us, and have answered the questions drafted by Manon, our apprentice copywriter who is also a work-study student in the Communication department in Paris. We will follow their progress throughout the year. Take a look at episode 1: “My first steps at Naval Group”.

Quick profile overview

Mikaël Abiven, 25 years old, Shipwright apprentice in Brest, as part of an Industrial Metalworker Technician (TCI) vocational baccalaureate.
Duration of work-study training: 1 year

Charlotte Dodelin, 20 years old, Production-Integration Coordinator apprentice in Cherbourg, as part of a Mechanical engineering and production degree.
Duration of work-study training: 3 years

Mikaël Abiven, Naval Group

Charlotte Dodelin, Naval Group

Rémi Scherfling, 22 years old, Business Developer for R&D projects apprentice at Technocampus Ocean, as part of a second year master’s program in Strategic and operational marketing.
Duration of work-study training: 1 year
Perrine Ohayon, 20 years old, Prevention Advisor apprentice in Toulon, as part of a master's degree in Quality, Hygiene, Safety and Environment (QHSE), with a specialisation in management system and operational excellence.
Duration of work-study training: 2 years

Rémi Scherfling, Naval Group

Perrine Ohayon, Naval Group

Why did you choose Naval Group for your work-study training?

Rémi (Nantes): I was studying for a technology degree (DUT) near to the Naval Group site: we often hear about the group, so I knew it pretty well. I had already done an internship on the Nantes-Indret site which I enjoyed a lot. Applying for a work-study training program at Technocampus Ocean (TCO) was a natural transition.

Charlotte (Cherbourg): I have always wanted to work for Naval Group, specifically in Cherbourg where submarines are built. I applied very early on; 1 year prior to my work-study training to be sure that I was at the top of the list. The naval sector has been a passion of mine since I was 14 years old! I am exactly where I have always wanted to be.

Perrine (Toulon): I applied to an offer that was posted on my master’s program website. I was immediately intrigued when I saw the job description. The group contacted me and told me they were interested in my candidature. It was a perfect occasion to get to know the world of naval defence. Once on site, my thoughts were confirmed: this is really something that I would enjoy.

Mikaël (Brest): I used to be a soldier. However, following some health issues in 2018, I could no longer remain in the army. It was then that I changed career paths and joined the French navy as a naval fire officer. My former Sergeant Major introduced me to Naval Group and when I spoke to an employee of the group I realised that the metalworking domain within Naval Group represented a great opportunity.

How did your integration go?

Rémi: I was shown around the site and introduced to the different teams. With so many ongoing projects, I was immediately part of the action. I appreciated being directly involved in the actual processes and my mentor, Nathalie Mercier-Perrin, was present from the start. I am given a lot of support in my position and the Human Resources department has been very responsive. Everything went smoothly.

Charlotte: I arrived alongside another work-study student in their final year who had already been on site for three years. The construction of the 3rd Barracuda submarine was just getting started, and with the team being built up little by little my integration was made much easier. I am a social person so I did not worry too much, but everyone really helped me integrate the team.

Perrine: From the moment I arrived in the department, everything went very well. My mentor showed me everything, from the teams to my future work environment. Administratively speaking, everything went very quickly.

Mikaël: I already knew the manager as I had done a welding internship with Naval Group, and that was a real advantage. The teams are amazing, no matter which site I am on.

Describe to us your first month. How did it go?

Rémi: It was very intense and I discovered a lot - there were many technologies that were new to me and that I had not anticipated working with. I had the opportunity to exchange with various contributors involved in large-scale projects.

Charlotte: I familiarised myself with the site and learned new terms, how the team operates on the shipyard, what was expected from me and how I was going to progress into my position.

Perrine: There was a long observation phase in the field, alongside the various members of the department that I would be working in. After that, everything went very quickly. I completed a safety training course followed by a COVID training course. This allowed me to start working in the best possible conditions.

Mikaël: Everything went very well for me too. I got to know many people from the trade, who took the time to show me the correct way of working. I really started to progress within a friendly, welcoming and informative environment (especially when I had a hard time finding my way around a submarine...).

What are your expectations from this experience at Naval Group?

Rémi: I really hope be offered a position at Naval Group following my work-study training as I can already see a future for myself in the group. Before that, I hope to build up my skills. This experience has given me good insight in the domain of industry and innovation. I would like to have responsibilities, and my position allows for this.

Charlotte: I would like to reach the objectives that were set out for me, to progress, to become more independent and to take on greater responsibility within the team. If I am offered a position following my work-study program, I will accept it. My project is to learn the trade of Coordination Manager within an independent production unit.

Perrine: I expect to put what we have learned in school into practice. I also expect this experience to help me become more mature. My goal is to prove myself in order to work in this domain, and eventually take on the role of manager or supervisor.

Mikaël: I would like to learn a new trade alongside people who have the time to show and explain things to me. My long-term goal would be to get taken on by Naval Group.

Next episode: Mid-point progress update with Mikaël, Charlotte, Rémi and Perrine. See you in February with episode 2!