1) What course are you starting to study in college?
I have just begun my 4th year of Material Sciences Engineering at Polytech Lille.
2) How long was your internship with Ecocem?
My internship was 8 weeks long and I started on the 29th May 2023 and finished on the 21st July 2023.
3) Why did you decide to do an internship with Ecocem?
As part of my Material Sciences Engineering course at Polytech Lille, each Engineering student must choose an activity to be carried out such as working on a fixed-term contract, an internship in a company, or undertaking a volunteer role in a foreign country. The role must last at least 4 weeks during the summer holidays between 3rd and 4th year of college. The internship enables the student to work and learn new skills and experiences such as business culture, teamwork, and managing workload.
My dad is working in the concrete industry and his company works with Ecocem. I realised that I didn’t know much about concrete or how it was manufactured. I was curious as to how Ecocem are trying to reduce greenhouse gas and wanted to understand more about the product and the manufacturing process. I have always been interested in research and development and key issues such as sustainability and the environment so this was the perfect internship for me when the opportunity arose.
4) What did you enjoy most about your internship with Ecocem?
I enjoyed working in the lab with Gaston, Fred, and Kevin. They took the time to explain to me how Ecocem works. This included day-to-day activities I needed to complete and the testing we needed to do each week. They taught me the best way to carry out tasks and helped me to improve my skills and knowledge. I really enjoyed working with the team who also helped me to adapt to life in Ireland. During my first week, the lab team took me out to explore Dublin and have some beers where we discovered the differences between our cultures, and our languages, amongst other things. I enjoyed improving my English and learning to understand the different Irish accents.
I also enjoyed attending industry events with the Ecocem team so I could talk to more people and learn more about the construction industry in Ireland. It was also really interesting and enjoyable to sit in and listen to meetings about Ecocem’s new ACT Technology.
5) What did you learn about Ecocem/cement that you didn’t know before?
I learned many things about Ecocem and cement. I gained significant insight into the impact of the emissions from the concrete and cement industries and how Ecocem is changing this with their new ACT Technology. I learned the importance of quality testing on both the arrival of the raw material and the final product sent to customers. It was really interesting to learn about management structures and how team meetings are conducted.
6) What would you say to other female students looking to do an internship in a cement company such as Ecocem?
I would say to them that they don’t need muscles to work in this field! I would tell them not be worried about working in a male-dominated industry as working with Ecocem showed me what a positive work environment looks like and it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a man we are all treated the same and have one common goal. If a woman is interested in a career in a cement company, they shouldn’t hesitate to apply for a role with Ecocem.
7) How will your time with Ecocem impact your education going forward?
This work placement helped me with my thoughts on my future professional career. I learned that I can work and liked working in the concrete industry. I will need more work experience to know where I want to work in the future, but one thing that I know is that I like working in quality and I enjoyed working in R&D. My internship has given me food for thought such as what type and size of company I want to work for and if I want to work abroad or in France, I have a lot to think about!
Thanks to all the Ecocem team for this experience, I have a lot to consider for my future career but have developed a lot personally thanks to my time with Ecocem, and this internship has given me a lot of confidence and ambition to do great things going forward.
With the global thermometer rising and the stakes higher than ever, it is crucial to reflect on the present, the impending future, and the urgency of the actions needed to combat climate change today.
Ecocem, Europe’s leading provider of low carbon cement technology solutions, has been recognised as the Best Irish Company in France by the Ireland France Business Awards in a ceremony at the Shelbourne Hotel, Dublin.