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From Project to Reality: Leander’s Internship at DePoly

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In August 2023, we welcomed Leander to DePoly in Sion, Switzerland, for a 6-month internship.

1. Why DePoly? 🌍

“As many of us know, plastic is an enormous problem in today’s world. Plastic is pretty much in everything we interact with daily. Reflecting on that, I wanted to take action and try to help solve this problem. In the context of my master’s degree, I was looking for an internship, specifically in a start-up environment rather than a big company. I heard about DePoly and the team at Forum EPFL. After doing some research on them, I decided to apply via the company website for my internship in the Research and Development department.”

2. Work & Challenges 🚀

“Once I started with DePoly, I was directly assigned some projects to work on, to my great pleasure as this was what I was expecting and looking for during my internship. One of the benefits of working in a start-up environment is that I could work on projects and complete tasks that would have most likely been out of reach in a larger company. I was able to interact with many stakeholders on a very horizontal level, and that was a very valuable experience. Discussing projects and taking part in company meetings as well as interact with our pilot plant team made my internship feel very complete.”

3. Freedom & Company Culture 🌐

“Working in a start-up environment also means that you have a lot of autonomy, and that you need to bring a “do it yourself” approach as well as a solving problems mindset. Of course, you will always have team members available if you have a question or need clarification but being able to be my own “project manager” felt very empowering, associated with a level of trust from my managers and team.

In fact, some of the work I delivered was implemented to our pilot plant, and I felt very proud to have been able to contribute to this becoming a reality. There is a special feeling when you scale an idea/project from paper to reality and see it work with positive feedback.”

4. Recommendations & Reflections 🌱

“Overall, it was a very positive experience, and my 6-month internship flew by. I am grateful for the level of trust and responsibilities that were put in me. It was a two-way street, I was able to show that I could handle the projects and tasks that were assigned to me, and in return I was able to work on projects at scales that would have not been possible in large companies. Meetings were bi-directional, I could discuss, listen and I felt that my opinion was taken into account. Something I noticed here is that you are valued as a human being. Sometimes, as we were on the train back to Lausanne, we would spontaneously decide to go rock climbing with a few other team members or go for an after-work drink. I am super curious to see how DePoly will evolve in the future and will definitely stay in touch, who knows, I might be back in a few years.”

Catégorie / Team
Publié / February 15, 2024
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