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The apprentice speaks out

In 2018, UTC cel­e­brat­ed the 10th anniver­sary of the appren­tice­ship train­ing scheme for engi­neers. One thing is cer­tain, the added val­ue of appren­tice­ship for the stu­dent lies in the pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence they gain. They arrive on the job mar­ket with a wealth of skills and new expe­ri­ence. And with a much stronger sense of con­fi­dence. Here is the tes­ti­mo­ny of Elias Limouni, 22, a com­put­er engi­neer­ing student.

Why did you choose to follow the apprenticeship course? 

I signed up for the appren­tice­ship scheme in Sep­tem­ber 2020, after obtain­ing a DUT in com­put­er sci­ence in Amiens. The sign­ing of my con­tract with Opp­Science in Paris 9e, fol­low­ing an intern­ship car­ried out there to obtain the DUT. I chose to study com­put­er engi­neer­ing because, ever since I was quite young, I was inter­est­ed in this field, first in cyber­se­cu­ri­ty, then in robot­ics, and final­ly in the field in which I am now work­ing thanks to my sand­wich course pro­gramme: arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence or data sci­ence. The choice of a sand­wich course pro­gramme came quite nat­u­ral­ly after my DUT intern­ship. Indeed, hav­ing dis­cov­ered the world of the com­pa­ny and what it could offer me, I decid­ed to con­tin­ue along this path in order to cou­ple the knowl­edge learned at UTC with the skills devel­oped dur­ing the projects in the company. 

Is it easy to adapt to the rhythm of a sandwich course and what purpose does this serve? 

The sand­wich course rhythm at UTC allows us to com­bine the best of both worlds: approx. five weeks in a com­pa­ny, then five weeks at the school of engi­neer­ing. This allows us to be ful­ly inte­grat­ed for sev­er­al weeks in one of the two worlds with­out hav­ing to dis­con­nect to wor­ry about the sec­ond. My appren­tice­ship mas­ter taught me a lot. In addi­tion to the wide­spread knowl­edge he gave me in data sci­ence, he helped me when­ev­er I faced a dif­fi­cul­ty by show­ing me the dif­fer­ent approach­es. He explains con­cepts pre­vi­ous­ly unknown to me in order to achieve the objec­tives set for the projects in which I par­tic­i­pat­ed. Beyond the count­less skills acquired, this learn­ing method­ol­o­gy acts as a spring­board for inte­gra­tion into the pro­fes­sion­al world after school. Indeed, with the same diplo­mas as ini­tial train­ing, the “con­crete” expe­ri­ence acquired makes the dif­fer­ence, and there­fore makes you much more com­pet­i­tive on the market. 

What benefits do you see accruing from this mode of teaching? 

The skills acquired in three years of appren­tice­ship go far beyond what is pos­si­ble to obtain through intern­ships. Indeed, spend­ing this time and evolv­ing in the same envi­ron­ment, not­ing how it evolves, and see­ing how the com­pa­ny too evolves over the years, allowed me to be much more agile and able to pro­pose use­ful inno­va­tions. I learned a lot through the train­ing I fol­lowed in cours­es at UTC first of all, but also by apply­ing and adapt­ing this knowl­edge to the busi­ness world. This allows me to serene­ly enter the pro­fes­sion­al world. The appren­tice­ship has giv­en me the rigour nec­es­sary to under­stand the prob­lems in indus­try. I fol­lowed method­olo­gies, applied agile dynam­ics, and used team man­age­ment tools that will prove use­ful for the future. More­over, I learned a lot of con­crete notions in arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence (AI), con­sol­i­dat­ing the the­o­ret­i­cal notions in math­e­mat­ics and sta­tis­tics acquired dur­ing the course, some­times even help­ing me to under­stand them. Final­ly, I learned a lot about how a com­pa­ny works, whether it be in terms of hier­ar­chy, ser­vices or team management.

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