Wednesday 27 July 2016

The Apprenticeship: fusing work and study (p.2)

Laetitia Hemery
In the Apprenticeship-series on this blog, we follow our students who have successfully pursued an apprenticeship*. In this episode, Arkema's Recruitment Officer Laetitia explains how she experienced the challenges of the apprenticeship.

I've been working as an apprentice for Arkema for now almost one year. Arkema is a designer of materials and innovative solutions. It shapes materials and creates new uses that accelerate customer performance in lightweight and design materials, bio-sourced materials, new energies, water management, solutions for electronics, and the performance and home insulation. Arkema is also a company that pays a lot of attention to its employees well-being and professional development. 

As an apprentice I really feel part of the company like every collaborator. Even on a very pragmatic (though highly symbolical) way I have the same compensation and benefits package than every other employee.

My job consists in hiring all interns and apprentices who are conducting a Master degree in France and abroad. It represents roughly 150 positions/year. I've also recruited 6 VIE since August. I was involved in several HR development projects and the projects on relationships with our targeted schools.

'As an apprentice I really feel part of the company like every collaborator'

One of the best things in my job is the autonomy. I am the only recruitment officer on this perimeter and I do all the HR part: from shortlisting CVs to conducting interviews. I really enjoy having so much responsibilities: I was sometimes in direct contact with CFOs of sister companies or some of our greatest researchers in the world!

I am grateful to my managers who have shown a lot of flexibility to adapt to the ESSEC requirements. They let me chose the courses I wanted and to join the ESSEC Leadership and Diversity Chair even though it was not always convenient.

They also offered me the great opportunity to change my missions for the second year of my contract: after an exchange semester at Stellenbosch Business School in South Africa I'll be working in Lyon, on our biggest plant in France, to discover an industrial environment and the daily life of an HR manager in this very particular context. I am thrilled to begin my new job!

Even though it was sometimes difficult to conciliate my student and professional life because of the weekly rhythm (2d at Essec / 3d at Arkema), I really enjoyed my first year and recommend choosing the apprenticeship.

*An apprenticeship constitues a fusing of work and studying: the apprentice (the student) studies part time and works the rest of the time for a company. The company in return pays the tuition fees of the student and a salary. In the past, quite a few students have financed their studies this way. Read more on apprenticeships here.

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