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  • VIE: how it works?

    Volunteer for International Experience Program or VIE is a 6 to 24 months mission for young graduates  in one of our foreign subsidiaries. It is a unique experience offering excellent operational training abroad while helping Axens to develop its international activities.

    To join us, you need to:

    • Hold a 5-year higher education diploma - 
    • Have French or European Economic Area (EEA) nationality
    • Be under 28 years of age
  • IFPEN/Axens Young Graduate program: how it works?

    Every year, Axens seconds several process engineers to the R&D centre of its parent company IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) in Solaize (Lyon), for a period of 24 months. The young people hired are integrated into IFPEN’s R&D teams and involved in projects related to the development of new technologies and products. The subjects offered are defined jointly by IFPEN and Axens. The objective is to have the engineers on the course work on themes that they will be led to pursue at Axens, from a more industrial angle. Each young person hired on a career path is followed by an Axens sponsor, who helps to main-tain the link with the company and facilitate his or her return.

    Thanks to this program, you will have an opportunity to:

    • Discover the world of R&D
    • Develop your network within the IFPEN group, get to know our parent company and ensure a continuous link with it
    • Develop new skills useful in the future development of your engineering career at Axens
    • Accelerate in the short- and medium-term your career development prospects within the group

    To join us, you need to:

    • Hold an engineering degree
    • Be mobile in the Rhône-Alpes region
    • Be technologically curious
    • Be interested in an R&D approach
  • A first position at Axens: how it works?

    Joining Axens on an open-ended contract as a junior means working in a challenging, multicultural envi-ronment and on innovative technical issues!
    To join us, you need to:

    • Be motivated to work in a demanding technical environment
    • Like diversity and human relations
    • Share our values! (lien vers Nos valeurs dans la rubrique Company)


Digital Marketing Executive, former VIE
Rueil-Malmaison (France)

Questions for… Audrey, at Axens since 2015

Why did you want to do a VIE? 
During my master’s degree studies, I had an international experience at Korea University. I think that this experience was both delightful and enlightening. It really helped me to see myself in perspective. As such, it got me interested in working abroad to discover a new working environment and culture. A VIE (international work experience volunteering) is a perfect experience for a young graduate to acquire new professional experience, consolidate and learn a new language and above all go beyond your limits as you literally step into the unknown. This is a great experience that opens up your perspectives.

Can you describe your volunteering mission at Axens?
While I was working for Axens North America, my missions covered a broad range of activities, such as coordinating seminars and conferences for American customers, managing digital marketing activities, developing external communication materials, etc. It was really gratifying to work with the American team. As it was a smaller structure, I really liked working in close proximity with all the employees. My manager helped me develop and gain new skills, while also gradually giving me more autonomy and responsibilities.

If you had to sum up your VIE in 3 words?
- Grow: this is an experience that makes you grow as a person. Going through the good and bad experiences that come with getting out of your comfort zone, professionally and personally.
- Discover: discovering a new culture and working environment. As for my experience, having the chance to meet American colleagues and discover new work practices and opportunities.
- Responsibility: I was fortunate to work with a manager and in a company that believed in me, gave me the tools to succeed and offered me new responsibilities.

Process Design Engineer in the IFPEN/Axens Young Graduate Program
Solaize (France)

Questions for… Jonathan, at Axens since 2020

How did you get to know Axens?
During my apprenticeship at IFP School. I chose Axens first of all because of the diversity of the jobs on offer in the refining, petrochemical and gas processes, and also because of the cultural diversity within the Group. The importance Axens places on the ethics and integrity of its employees was also a key factor for me.

What does the IFPEN/Axens Young Graduate Program consist of?
A young Axens recruit on a career path is seconded for 2 years to the IFPEN site in Lyon. The objective is to work with Lyon research engineers on current research themes at IFPEN. During these two years, I can not only develop my technical skills but also acquire a detailed understanding of how R&D works.

Why did you choose IFPEN/Axens Young Graduate Program?
First of all, I was interested in the technical subject itself. Next, I also wanted to discover the challenges of applied research for the energy industry: getting to know and understanding the stages of a project before the industrialization phase is very enriching.

If you had to sum up your experience in 3 words?
- Enriching, because the R&D career path lets me broaden my knowledge of a project’s scope.
- Challenging, especially as regards project-related brainstorming, because I am confronted with multi-ple actors who operate using different working methods. 
- Another way of doing things, because I approach my job as a process engineer differently, undoubted-ly from a more comprehensive perspective thanks to my knowledge of the entire project development chain.

Larissa Perotta
Technology Development Manager Renewables, Process & Equipment Innovation Department
Rueil-Malmaison (France)

Questions for… Larissa, at Axens since 2010

Why did you join Axens, and why did you opt for the IFPEN/Axens Young Graduate Program?
When I started my master’s degree at IFP School, Axens was one of the companies I was particularly interested in: its licensing activities, with an engineering component and the design of new units, gave me an opportunity to create something concrete and to always learn new things as projects went along. So I did my IFP School apprenticeship at Axens and I was delighted. At the end of this experience, I had a choice between joining the Process team in Rueil or spending two years at IFPEN. I chose the latter option without hesitating: I have always appreciated R&D; I like the creative and visionary side that it gives to projects. Discovering how we anticipate, prepare and design the processes of the fu-ture seemed to me a unique opportunity.

How did your Program go?
I worked on the development of Futurol technology (lien vers page Techno Futurol) for the production of cellulosic ethanol: I had an opportunity to devote myself 100% to a breakthrough technology which was being developed. I got to manage a wide variety of tasks: preparation and monitoring of pilot tests, conceptual development of the industrial unit, technical discussions with suppliers to make the extrapolability of the equipment viable and ensure its performance on an industrial scale, technical and economic evaluation of the process. I learned a lot technically, and I also forged strong ties with IFPEN researchers: I always discuss with them, about projects of course, but also about our lives! This close-ness created during my career is very useful in the relationship with our parent company. These links are also a precious support during these two years when one is physically distant from one’s company. For me, mixing with other colleagues who were also working at IFPEN was a way of keeping in touch with Axens.

If you had to sum up your experience in 3 words?
- Link, because the course is a great way to discover not only colleagues we would not have met other-wise but also new fields and a complementary approach to science!
- Open-mindedness: you see a lot of things in perspective once you have lived both sides of a story!
- And finally, opportunity: working on the strategic areas for the future of Axens might not be useful right away, but it will generally make a difference in the long run. As far as I am concerned, I evolved quickly at Axens and 4 years after my return, I am now in charge of a team of 10 people dedicated to renewable technologies.

Process Design Engineer
Rueil-Malmaison (France)

“There are two main things that drive me. The first is the diversity I can find in my working environment: there are many cultures and it’s a very comfortable space. And because of this diversity, I feel that working in a team with so many cultures is very rewarding as one gets to work with people from all over the world. This is what I like the most about working at Axens.”

Mariana, at Axens since 2019

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