Their French connection

Adding French flair to their TP learning journey. From left: Bryan (Aerospace Electronics), Kai Ling, Hashim (both Aerospace Engineering) and Claire (Aerospace Electronics).

First-ever Singapore Interns at Airbus, France!
by Ashraf Aris

When Bryan, Kai Ling, Hashim and Claire started their TP journey in 2015, never in their wildest dreams could they have expected to one day snag an internship opportunity with Airbus – and at their headquarters in Toulouse, France, no less.

They were also the first students from Singapore to be selected for this Overseas Internship Programme (OSIP) with the aerospace giants, a privilege made possible under the Memorandum of Agreement that was signed between Airbus and TP last year.

Their six-month overseas stint ended in early March 2018 and our budding engineers returned home very much the wiser and excited about their future in this growing industry.

Their Unforgettable Experience

Hashim (third from left), with his colleagues from Airbus’ Engineering Feedback and Maturity Development section.

“My time with Airbus was spent working on two internal booklets and two technical reports. My analytical skills were really put to the test, sifting through the mountains of data – but at the end of it all, I gained a much better understanding of the problems faced by Airbus aircraft and its possible solutions too,” said Hashim.

“But I couldn’t have succeeded without the help of my experienced colleagues, all of whom were extremely helpful, patient and understanding with me.”

An avid rugby fan, who has represented TP in various competitions, Hashim would try to catch almost every Stade Toulousain (a rugby team based in Toulouse) game, a fact that his colleagues took note of.

"This fantastic bunch surprised me with parting gifts of a French rugby jersey, a Toulouse rugby ball and the strongest cheese they could find!”

Claire (extreme left) and Bryan (fifth from left) during a team bonding trip, at the Beille Ski Resort.

For Aerospace Electronics coursemates, Bryan and Claire, both were attached to the Airbus Integration and Test Centre.

“Our supervisors would give us assigned tasks to work on,” Claire recalled.

“One of which was the Serial Electrical Arc Detection (SEAD) project, which allowed the users to study the phenomenon of an electrical arc. Both of us also had the chance to visit the Final Assembly Lines (FAL), where Airbus aircraft parts are moved from workstation to workstation and assembled in sequence.”

“On top of that, we had the unbelievable opportunity to check out the Airbus simulation room, which reproduced the flight deck of the A350, in order to understand and test its avionics systems,” Bryan added.

“I had so many memorable experiences but if I had to narrow it down to just one, then it had to be the time when I got to observe an A350 flight simulation to an airport in Shanghai, China. It’s really not something you get to see every day.”

Kai Ling would travel to various cities during her off-days, such as taking in the beautiful sights of Paris.

When Kai Ling was informed of her successful OSIP application, she immediately started on her research on Airbus.

“As overjoyed as I was to receive this opportunity with Airbus, I also felt a sense of responsibility. I wasn’t just representing TP but Singapore as well. I focused my research on the A350 XWB aircraft as it was the model I would be assigned to work on in France,” she said.

“Stepping out of my comfort zone, knowing I can adapt to new surroundings and learning not to be afraid to take risks in order to explore and grow are definitely my biggest takeaways from this experience,”

“And, the icing on the cake was when my Airbus supervisor not only invited me to return to France for my future university internship semester but he had also recommended me to the Airbus HR external recruitment campaign. Both are opportunities I will gladly take up.”

A Once-in-a-lifetime Opportunity

According to Aerospace Engineering Course Manager, Yue Keng Mun, all final-year students from Aerospace Engineering and Aerospace Electronics were invited to apply. The selection was not based on academic merit alone, with Airbus looking for those who also demonstrated good interpersonal skills, pro-activeness and communication abilities.

“This internship at Airbus headquarters in Toulouse, France was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work in a top aerospace company in design and manufacturing, which is an area that Singapore aims to grow in,” said Keng Mun.

“Not only did it provide our four students with opportunities to apply their TP aerospace training, this experience also helped them acquire invaluable life skills, such as working independently, being resourceful in developing ideas and solutions and deepening their global mindset of the world outside of Singapore.”