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Valentin, V.I.E. program, Japan

What is your position?

I have been in the V.I.E. program in Japan for the last year and seven months. I am working as a technical support engineer at the Kyoto Technical Center for customers in the Asia-Pacific region.

What has been your career path?

I have an engineering degree with a specialization in materials from ParisTech Chemistry.

What exactly does your role consist of?

In Japan, beginner engineers conduct all their experiments themselves. Day-to-day, my role is to test new formulations, conduct analyses, and research data to detect and resolve the problems encountered by our customers. It is also necessary to write detailed and accurate technical reports to feed into the database of provided solutions. In addition to technical support, it is also my job to devise and conduct tests to develop new applications for the products in the Kynar® range.

Why did you choose Arkema for this V.I.E. program?

I chose Arkema because I wanted to work in polymers. I also wanted to go back to Japan following a very pleasant initial experience there, it was too good an opportunity not to try! The recruitment happened very quickly. I contacted the HR department via LinkedIn, did some interviews over the phone with the global R&D managers and then with the local team in Japan. A few months later, I was boarding a flight to Kyoto!

How did your induction go?

The local team was very welcoming right from the beginning, and they were very open to showing me as many things as possible, whether in work or day-to-day life. The French people there also looked after me and gave me some tips about their favorite places to go.

What are the advantages of the V.I.E. program?

The 30 days of annual leave and the level of pay are more than enough to let you fully take advantage of the overseas experience without feeling deprived. All the more so since accommodation is paid for by the company!

What do you like about this placement?

I particularly enjoy everything to do with communication about our work, whether it is making posters, reports for a general readership, or fun presentations. Lastly, the most important thing for me is the chance to share an experience with my colleagues in Japan, with whom I formed a relationship of trust and a very positive and rewarding work atmosphere.

What do you like about Arkema?

What I like most in this company is its international aspect. In a world where there is something "global" about all of us, it is extremely rewarding to have the chance to meet people from different cultures. From a more technical point of view, I appreciate Arkema's ambition to search for more innovative and environmentally-friendly solutions.

Is there a particular memory from your V.I.E. program that stands out?

The first day I saw cherry blossoms along a riverbank on my way home from work. That was a magical moment, like a dream that you could only experience in Kyoto, and which I will never forget.

Is there anything about yourself that you would like to share?

I strongly recommend the V.I.E. program to anyone who has the opportunity to do it! It is a wonderful experience on a personal level and professionally, and it lets you take a step back and see things from a wider perspective before starting a career in France.

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