Articles

Bridging the gap to enterprise

Till Lafeuille not only holds his UTC engineering diploma with a specialist elective option in ‘Industrial Design’ but is also our Ambassador with the automobile equipment manufacturer Faurecia. He proposes each year that UTC undergrads come and discover the wide range of job possibilities in this Group which spans 34 different countries and is world leader in the field of car-seats, interior fittings and equipment and emission control technologies.

Bridging the gap to enterprise

What qualities of UTC graduates are appreciated most at Faurecia?

The training packages given at UTC develop student autonomy via the diversified range of ‘credit courses’, validated via concrete projects. When we choose trainees from UTC to come to Faurecia, we can rest assured that they will bring an added value to the company and will not adopt a passive stance, ‘wait and see’. This is not always case for youngsters with no professional experience who come from other engineering schools. The UTC major in Mechanical Engineering (UTC-GM) and notably the elective specialty Mechatronics correspond perfectly with our needs in automation for car seats. Students with the Mechanical Systems Engineering major (UTC-GSM) also have a profile than we at Faurecia find attractive.

Tell us about Faurecia’s recruitment process

Every year, we take part in the COMUTEC Forum where companies can offer internships and recruit engineers from UTC – the most recent Forum took place Oct.20, 2016. Faurecia sees it as an opportunity to present its range of professional jobs; this year we received 160 CVs from possible applicants, all in a single event! It always proves interesting to place students in real work condition so that we can test and measure their potential. Two years ago, we organized a workshop where we invited students to design and assemble a ‘next generation’ dashboard. This exercise consisted first of all in pricing production costs then negotiating the part prices with suppliers. Another interesting aspect of this workshop session was that at one point the interns were invited to abandon their central role (product) to play the role of head of a production site and then to think about ways to optimize the various manufacturing steps. At other times in the year, we propose visits for groups of students to visit some of our industrial sites.

Have applicant profiles evolved? If so, how?

During the Forum, we met with students who were becoming visibly more mature and already showed a professional behaviour and approach. Orientations and desiderata have also changed. A few years ago, student-engineers were more attracted to jobs in the design offices. Today one of our main reasons to be satisfied is that they want to go increasingly for production side jobs or with a logistics or managerial orientation in mind. Since I myself graduated from UTC, 13 years ago, I have moved from design to production and then moved more to the marketing functions, i.e., a very rich experience.

What job prospect are there after doing a placement with Faurecia?

Each year, I note that the UTC students and graduates demonstrate that they possess strong qualities and integrate our company staff perfectly after doing their 6 month end-of-studies placement with us. In my design team based at Faurecia-Méru, only a month and a half have passed and yet we are now ready to offer a job to two of our four UTC interns!