Apprenticeship: Feedback from an apprenticeship student at ISAE-SUPAERO

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Céline Lorkowski is currently following the new apprenticeship curriculum offered by ISAE-SUPAERO. She chose to follow this training program at CNES, a godsend for the company which now has the benefit of new, qualified skills and real backing to support and develop its missions.

Céline LORKOWSKI suit actuellement le nouveau cursus en apprentissage proposé par l’ISAE-SUPAERO

Can you tell us about your background?

After I got my “S” baccalaureate with the Engineering Sciences option, I turned to a “Grandes École” preparatory class (PCSI) planning later to go to an engineering school in aeronautics and aerospace.
On the other hand, this curriculum is highly theoretical. I prefer training that combines theory and practice, which is why I redirected by studies to a DUT (University Technical Degree) in Physical Measurements at Sorbonne Paris Nord University. After my DUT, I was still looking to go to an engineering school. When I found out that ISAE-SUPAERO was opening its doors to DUT graduates for the 2020 academic year, I immediately applied.
After going through the different selection phases, I was admitted to ISAE-SUPAERO for the apprenticeship program called “Engineer in Industrial Aeronautical and Space Engineering through apprenticeship”. Last but not least, I had to find a work-study partner company! The public health situation didn’t make things any easier, but I relentlessly applied for all the openings I could find.

Where are you currently doing your apprenticeship? Could you tell us about your integration into the workplace and your missions?

I decided to go to the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES - National Centre for Space Studies) for a position as “apprentice engineer in satellite control and stabilization”. I managed to fit in quite easily. As soon as I got there, I met my company tutor who introduced me to the rest of the department and gave me a tour of part of the premises. Then I had a meeting with my department head and my tutor to discuss the different missions I was to be entrusted with. I was given the following missions:

  • Production of a database for SCAO (Attitude and Orbit Control System) equipment;
  • Characterization of a magnetometer;
  • Implementation of test handling for the MMX Rover project (use of a gyroscope for real tests on estimation algorithms);
  • SCAO engineer work for the AéroSat mission (nanosatellite)

Why did you choose to take the apprenticeship route? What do you think is the advantage of apprenticeship training?

I chose the work-study apprenticeship route because it corresponds to the model of training that I think is part of the apprenticeship ideal. It combines practice and theory and the application of knowledge you have acquired directly in connection with the professional environment. With work-study, no two days are the same, the pace changes regularly. Work-study also lets you gain experience – an important asset when you go looking for a job.

What projects do you have for the future after you complete the program?

For the moment, I don’t have any set projects for the future. I don’t know if I’ll want to or will be able to continue with a thesis in 3 years. I love to learn and I love to do research. For me, studying means listening, having a passion, making progress with your eyes wide open on the world and a desire to understand.
If I have the opportunity to stay with CNES, I’ll stay. Otherwise, why not explore other fields!

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