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Irina from Russia

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Irina from Russia, awarded an MSc by apprenticeship

I am 24 years old. As a result of my studies at Groupe ESA, I am today a team leader in a major French company in Moscow, Sucden (Groupe Sucre et Denrees, one of the world leaders in sugar trading). I am in charge of contracts for malting barley and also relations with Sucden’s subsidiaries.

How did I get there ? Well, I started learning French at the age of ten, and took and passed the the DELF ‘Diplôme d’Ètudes en Langue Française’. I studied for five years at Moscow University of Agromechanisation, specializing in Electricity and Automatisation.

Then I went to Angers, where I found a study environment and methods very different to what I was used to : longer lessons, more written exams, lots of work in groups. Other skills were expected of me : methodology, project organization, Power Point presentations, But because of my determination and also help from a member of ESA staff, I learned quickly. Yes, every foreign student can benefit from the personal assistance of a professor, or ‘tuteur’.
As is required by the apprenticeship course, I spent two years in France alternating between lessons at Angers and my placement in a french firm.

The course was organized in options. I decided to follow statistics and or (?), foodstuff processing and inspecting, management, international markets for farm and food products. Then in the last six months I did my end-of-studies project (or MSc thesis).

I did that at a place called Issoudun in the Indre departement, in the centre of France, in the company Malteries Franco-Suisses. My supervisor was very competent, and my workmates kind and helpful. So I learnt a lot, notably about malting and malt sales ; but I was also able to observe the French way of doing things, notably concerning quality control, work organization, and just work attitudes in general.

Thus I was able to find a good job with Sucden in Moscow. But I will never forget the time spent at Angers where I made many friends from all over the world, some of whom I will remain in contact with for a long time.

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