Clément Vairac is a third-year student at École des Mines de Saint-Étienne, one of the most prestigious engineering schools in France. He completed a 6-month internship within the BOC France team, in the Vienna office of BOC Group Austria. In this interview, Clément shares with us his experience as a trainee at BOC Group and his experience discovering a new work environment and culture in Vienna, the capital of Austria.

You study and live in France, why did you decide to do an internship at BOC Group in Austria?

My school, the “Ecole des Mines de Saint-Etienne” (EMSE), uses the BPM software developed by BOC Group in some of its courses. As I really enjoyed working with this software, it seemed natural to apply to BOC Group for my end-of-study internship: doing an internship in Austria was an opportunity for me to discover a country and a culture that were both unknown to me.

How were your first steps during your internship and how was the remote work situation for you?

When I arrived, I felt integrated in my team and in the company. The Onboarding days allowed me to get to know my colleagues and become familiar with the work of the different departments at BOC Group in Austria. The experience of working abroad and particularly in Austria was very enriching, as I discovered both new ways of working and the quality of urban life in Vienna.

What were your tasks and projects during your internship?

My main task was to create a repository of the GAMP 5 guide in the BOC Group’s BPM software, ADONIS. I also created a communication kit on ADONIS for customers and, in collaboration with another intern, we carried out a modelling mission. In parallel, I carried out various support and modelling missions for the BOC France team.

What were the main challenges for you in the 3 months? And how did you handle it?

The main challenge I faced was giving presentations in front of many colleagues. Indeed, even if the listening has always been friendly during these formal presentations, this kind of exercise is particularly stressful for me. Nevertheless, I was able to benefit from the expertise and advice of my tutor who helped me to prepare effective and professional presentations.

How did you benefit from your studies during your internship?

Given the very specific nature of my mission, it was not my technical knowledge that was most useful but rather my soft skills: the ability to synthesise, the English oral and written skills and the ability to communicate effectively the results of my work to an expert audience.

Which skills and qualifications helped you most during your time abroad?

Without hesitation I would say first of all my English skills because even if I was part of the French team, professional communication was done in the language of Shakespeare. As for friendly exchanges, English is essential, as you would expect. Secondly, but to a lesser extent, the ability to adapt, because there are still slight differences between the way a company operates in Austria and in France. For example, the organisation of working hours and in particular the facilitation of home office work or lunch breaks which are less formal than in France. As a French person, this is perhaps the most surprising. 😊

What would you tell your friends and colleagues about your time at BOC Group?

This experience has been very beneficial both on a technical and professional level and, on a more personal level. On the technical side, I was able to deepen my knowledge of BPM and the tool offered by BOC Group. I also improved my English skills and my knowledge of specific areas such as GAMP 5. Finally, on a more personal level, I had the chance to work and live in a stimulating multicultural environment, which is a real asset.

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