On my work-study program, I work on pioneering topics

Richard is 23 years old and is on a work-study program at Orange as an engineer developing big data applications on Kubernetes. This Polytech (Nice) student wants to ‘work on concrete things.' He had found another position but when offered this assignment, Richard decided to come to Orange both for the atmosphere and to improve his skills. He doesn't regret it!

You learn the most on a work-study program.

The pace is very fast. You have to be organized in your work above all when you alternate between the company and school because I spend half a day in lessons and the other half-day in the company. In the evening, I have group projects with the students from my class. 

As it’s intense, the danger is that you may forget that you’re above all there to learn and put pressure on yourself, which wastes time in the end.  

I’ve learned to juggle between projects. I think that being versatile is important to be able to keep up the pace.

At Orange, all the internships work out well

In IT, the choice is vast, so the issue is to be able to sort through them.

I talked to my software architecture professor who is also in charge of the work-study program. He showed me the Orange opportunity telling me that “the position is good; I recommend you apply as all the internships work out well there.” 

What is funny is that the project director is one of my professor’s former professors :-)

My assignment is exactly how it was described in the ad.

The project I’m working on really interests me, especially in terms of the technologies used. In particular, I’m on Kubernetes which is technology that’s very commonly used in the cloud and big data. I develop and deploy cloud apps on a daily basis.

The job content was broadly ahead of the others

Very few companies enable trainees to work on the topics I do. Not to exaggerate, but you can count the companies on one hand that let a trainee who has no experience work in the cloud, independently!

And now, when I recommend Orange, I talk about it. I also emphasize the false image people have of Orange, which they still see as a telephone operator. The first reaction I get when I say I’m at Orange is “Oh, so you’re working in a shop?” I explain that it’s much broader than that and that I have the opportunity to work on new technologies, which is very rare in digital services companies.

I'm developing a broad skillset

In terms of training, it’s great.

For the first six months, my tutor was very patient about me improving my skills and always available. There was true symbiosis between what I learned in class and what I saw on my assignment, and vice versa.

Then, Orange offered me an online course on Kubernetes, so then, I really got serious training.

In the team, there’s also Stephan who’s an expert cloud architect (the job I’m aiming for) who’s a mine of information.

The last really awesome point is that Orange has signed an agreement with Google – so I’m going to train on the public cloud starting next week.

Atmosphere and trust

I’ve noticed that to improve my skills quickly and be sharp enough, relationships are important. Working in a calm and relaxed way is important to me. You feel that as soon as you have the interview. And I like the way that working from home is managed in my team: it’s easy to do, you don’t feel like you’re being monitored, and everything’s based on trust. It’s motivating.

It’s created a virtuous circle: they give me quite important tasks for a trainee, and it makes me progress and motivates me, and I’m efficient. I developed a feature in two weeks, for example, instead of four, as I was so motivated.

And as Orange is such a great name for my CV and the specific assignment I’m working on will open doors, I’m not worried about what happens next!

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