Hi, I am Orianne!
Hi, my name is Orianne, and I am a french 23-years old student at INSA Lyon, France. I will graduate as a Mechanical Engineer (Systems & Mechatronics) this September 2023, before flying to Taiwan to start my first job as a Quality & Reliability Engineer. I have always been passionate about Asian culture: I started studying Mandarin when I was 10 years old, went to two summer campuses in Beijing when I was 14 & 15 years old, and did my internships in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. In the picture above, I am wearing a Chinese traditional dress called “Qipao” (旗袍). My next challenge is to prepare for a solo trip across all of China!
Despite studying engineering, I have always been attracted to creative activities such as photography, graphical design, drawing, writing stories, or DIY crafts. Sports also represent an important part of my life: running, hiking, skiing, playing volleyball…
Are you currently doing an internship? If yes, tell us something about it
I am currently finishing my final year’s internship at Infineon Technologies as an Automation & Equipment Engineer in the Test, Technology and Innovation department. I am located in Singapore, which is the Asia-Pacific headquarters and the global AI innovation hub, backend final test manufacturing and test innovation site of the company.
We are the key strategic Backend location to test new and highly complex products, driving advanced automation projects such as robotisation, digitalisation or Artificial Intelligence. My division, Automation & Equipment Technology, focuses on bringing solutions for material handling to enable scalability of automation projects. More specifically, I work on equipment data collection, monitoring and analysis as well as troubleshooting hardware equipment performance.
I have learned a great deal from this internship: from the 4.0 industry processes to managing technological projects, especially with multicultural teams. Moreover, I have teamed up with the Talent Acquisition department to animate some events for students visibility, which I have enjoyed a lot doing and has helped me to gain confidence in my speaking skills and physical presence. I am really grateful to the company as they have given me a lot of opportunities to improve my hard and soft skills: extra responsibilities, sharing with mentors, e-learnings and more!
Where was your academic exchange? What did you enjoy the most? Were there any challenges you have faced? How did you overcome them?
My academic exchange was at UPC Barcelona at ETSEIB (Industrial Engineering), Spain. I must say I particularly enjoyed the lifestyle: flexible timetables at the university, great weather, a lot of facilities to do some sports, excellent tapas, friendly people, funny trips, great parties, etc… Thanks to ESN I also got to travel to many places in the South of Spain: Valencia, Zaragoza, Sevilla, Córdoba, Granada, but also Milano and Zurich with UNITECH people.
I have always been a curious person, so having the opportunity to take courses that were not exactly my major, such as Project Management and Smart Grids (which I undertook in the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Information), was a big plus for me.
My main challenge was to adapt to a different way of working as universities in Spain have a much more relaxed pace compared to France: there are fewer practical exercises and the classes are more oriented to theory and answering questions more than actually showing how to resolve a problem step-by-step. Moreover, there are fewer classes but more personal homework to do, which gave me time to focus on other artistic and sportive activities but stressed me more during the finals exams period as most of our grades were based on one big exam. This also made me realise, as I had more free time to develop my hobbies, that I wanted photography to become a bigger part of my life.
What attracted you to apply to the UNITECH programme ?
Before the pandemic, I was going to do my academic exchange in Shanghai to continue to carve my way in Asia. Unfortunately, it was cancelled and I had to rethink where I wanted to go. As Europe was not in my career plans at all, I wanted to find something that would give me more than just an academic exchange. UNITECH was the perfect fit for that: an opportunity to connect with curious, creative and open-minded people, an excellent way to level up my professional and interpersonal skills, and finally the possibility to travel to four different cities instead of only one. I also realised after some research that the corporate partners were really focused on sustainability, which was another deciding point.
But it gave me so much more than that! This programme gave me a family with like-minded people, a strong network, thriving job opportunities and a solid background to start my professional career. It also allowed me to have a close insight of what is at stake when you are an engineer, especially in multicultural environments.
What did you enjoy most about your experience in the UNITECH programme and how has the programme helped prepare you for the next steps in your career ?
It’s hard to decide on only one thing from all the unforgettable moments that UNITECH has brought to me, but I must admit that the best part of the programme has been my internship in Singapore. I have been very lucky with my work colleagues as well as the powerful friendships that I have made in such a short period of time. After only six months I consider Singapore my home and I know I will come back there one day, hopefully for more than half a year. I have grown personally like never before, switching from a student mindset to a working adult. It has also confirmed to me that I want to continue my professional career in this region: it’s time to leave what we call “Asia for beginners” and try the next level by working in Taiwan.
UNITECH has taught me to reflect on every aspect of our life, either personally or professionally. Moreover, it has helped me to assert myself and gain confidence in my skills, which pushed me to step out of my comfort zone by looking for an internship in Asia. As I have interacted with many people working in different job positions and in many companies, I have also learned what I look for in a company and how to stand out in your workplace. Those learnings have been crucial when choosing my first full-time job after my graduation, especially as I was looking in a country where the work life is not exactly the same as I was used to back in Europe.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned in your career so far?
To always communicate, to be curious and to never be afraid to ask! For example, share your passions or your doubts during lunch or coffee breaks, and don’t hesitate to ask for guidance or for extra pieces of information because you think that people take for granted that you should know this information when sometimes you just don’t. For instance, I asked to be trained in skills that I didn't have and I asked to participate in projects I wasn't meant to be involved in.
As people saw that I was approachable and curious about their work, they started to share more than they would have done to a simple intern. It started from sharing new foods/snacks (I told them that I was a foodie and the relation to food is much more important than in France), to meeting my mentor, having more responsibilities at work, and even becoming Master of Ceremony for social events! As I love photography and Infineon has a community page where we can share our pictures internally (you can check my work on Instagram, @travelling_orii), I got the opportunity to exchange with people from different locations and departments.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
To someone who starts in the automation field, I would advise to closely understand the industrial processes, from concept to the shipping of the final product, as well as a little benchmark on what the other companies are working on currently. Automation is a fast-moving field that needs high innovation and good hardware troubleshooting, so it’s good to always keep an eye on the new technologies even if they are not applied in your industry.
What is more, I would advise to look for the structure and the governance of the company, to align with their values but also to understand what type of management is applied, especially if working abroad or in a company that is not from your country. For example, if working in a German company I would need to focus more on the key metrics and the long-term vision rather than the direct impact and potential for improvement if I was in France. Because of cultural differences, it will be easier to apply a fast change in a French company than a German one, and the way of approaching the people will not be the same in Asia than in Europe. I learned the hard way the concept of “saving the face” in Asia, when in France I would have confronted the person directly or even complained directly to my boss. I was lucky enough to work with comprehensive and easy-going people, eager to share their knowledge but also to correct me if I was doing something wrong.