I was born/grew up in: Born and grew up in Chatillon-sur-Seine, Burgundy, France
I now live in: Guelph, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: Master degree in engineering in Nantes (44000), France
What I do at work
I am part of a program, which is designed to bring me the experience and knowledge required to become a high-level manager (such as plant manager) within the Linamar organization. I rotate between different roles and places every 6 months to learn different aspects of Linamar business. As part of this program, I worked in 4 different position in the last 18 months.
As a Program Manager, I was in charge of coordinating the various teams working on a component used to build Ford F150 engine. This included all parts of the development the development process. This role took a lot of ‘people skills’ as I needed to help people working together to achieve a common goal and make sure everything was done on time.
As a Manufacturing engineer, I led a project to improve the performance of a machining robot cell. The purpose was to analyze an automated cell with robots and identify opportunities to improve it. This included such things as increasing the number of part it can produce, decreasing the number of bad parts, and improving the workspace for the people working around the cell. This task took a lot of problem solving. I had to identify the main issues, and set priorities based on their importance. This had to be done before starting to work on the actual improvement. Once the issue was improved, I had to design a plan to make sure that the implemented action actually improved the robot cell.
As a Quality Supervisor, I had two roles. The first was a managing role. Here I had to decide how to organize the team of technicians around the daily priorities. The second was a technical role. In this role, I had to decide whether the pieces made by the production lines were acceptable. To do this, I used specialized metallurgical lab equipment. I used special microscopes to check the microstructure of the steel. I used a hardness tester to make sure the material was strong enough. To make sense of the results, I had to use the technical knowledge of materials that I learned during my studies.
Now, as a Waste Eliminator, I am working directly with the Chairman of Linamar to help all the 60 plants located in 12 different countries to reduce the costs of their operations. This role involves a lot of travelling abroad. I have to be able to identify similarities between the plants and help them share their experience. For example, which plant gets the best price for a certain type of tool, which plant has the best control and speed for a heat treatment process, etc.
My career path is
As a student, I always had a high interest in science and technology. This is how I naturally started my career as a mechanical engineer. The automotive industry is known to be challenging and demanding which is what I was looking for. I then started to work as an engineer developing processes for making engine parts.
After two years working as an engineer, I gained more responsibilities within the company and I started to move toward an engineering manager role. The experience I gathered in this role allowed me to learn things and take on new roles as I progressed within the company. This is how I was able to be accepted in the management training program I am currently in.
I think the most important things is to be interested in learning and accepting new challenges. This is how you can show your supervisors that you have the motivation and the potential to experience new roles and increase your level of responsibilities.
I am motivated by
Since I started my career (2010), my main motivation is the challenges that my work offers me. I find having challenges in my daily activities, helps keep my level of motivation high. Having challenges at work can take different forms. For example, the challenge might come from a supervisor who identifies a weakness and helps you solve it. Or, it might be having to face a situation you have never experienced before. In some cases, it is going through a difficult crisis that requires long hours and hard work with the team you work with. All these situations made my job very rewarding from a personal point of view and that is what helped me progressing.
My ability to face the various challenges I encountered in my career is what allowed me to qualify for the training program I am currently in. This program offers me the challenges I need and gives me the great opportunity to explore a lot of different activities and working environment in a very short time frame. It also allowed me to travel a lot and I was able to work in 7 different countries in the last 8 years.
In addition to the great learning opportunities that this program gives me, it also gives me visibility on what kind of evolution I can expect in my career. I think this point is important. Especially for young people who need to see that they have opportunities to learn, progress, and grow inside the company they are working in.
How I affect peoples’ lives
As a manager, I find the most interesting and fulfilling part of my job is to be able to motivate people to achieve their goals. Each is person is different. Being a manager, you have to be able to understand what motivates people so you can do your best to align their personal motivation with the company goals. When you can do this you make people being happy to come to work, and make them more efficient in reaching their goals inside the company.
Outside of work I
In order to be (and stay) happy at work, it is critical to find a good balance between professional and personal time. During my personal time, sport takes a good part of my activities. I play soccer during the season and do running and play squash in the off season. Sport is also a good way of socializing with friends which is by far what I do the most outside of my working time.
Reading is also part of my daily personal routine. It helps me relax and empty my mind for any work related concerns that I may have brought home.
My advice to others
If you are interested in a career in the automotive industry or in another manufacturing environment, you need to keep in mind that this type of businesses offers many opportunities. This means that if you show willingness to learn and commitment to the role you are given, you will have many opportunities to make your career change its course.
- Industrial Arts/Shop Programs
- Physical Education/Health
- Brought people together
- Played on a sports team
- Was motivated by success
- Wanted to be in charge
- Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
- Liked reading
- Played video games
- Always threw the best parties
- Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
- Always knew what I wanted to do
- Liked to take things apart to see how they worked