Railnova’s first student fair in France, Polytech Lille, was full of connections!

Post by Manal Benmalek, Employer Branding and Early Career Ambassador at Railnova
December 2, 2022

Polytech is a renowned French engineering school, and we visited their campus in the northern city of Lille. They hold a student fair every year to foster connections between companies and students. So on the 19th of November, three Railnovians, myself included, hopped in a car and headed to Lille to participate in the event, and it was a great experience!

Railnovians on their way to Polytech Lille for the student fair

Inspiring students at Polytech Lille

We arrived early with Léa and Essam. After the stand was up, we were ready to work. Their mission for Polytech in Lille was two-fold. First, we wanted to show attendees that Railnova is a place where they will be challenged daily by working on innovative solutions for the railway industry. The second part of the mission was letting what we call the “Railnova way” shine through, so students would be interested in conversing with us. 

Railnovian Essam Niya interacting with students at the Polytech Lille student fair

Explaining life at Railnova to Polytech Lille students

My fellow Railnova ambassadors did a great job introducing the students to the many advantages of working at Railnova.

The students showed great interest in our Train Interface Engineering team. The team, headed by our colleague Essam, is positioned between electrical and mechanical engineering, and the work is multifaceted and ambitious. Adapting to the many different types of locomotives on the market is the challenge they take up every day. 

Besides putting cables together, labelling them, and customising them for implementation, documentation is also essential. An engineer’s job at Railnova can be as diverse as the locomotives we install the Railster in. The job also involves many other aspects, such as analysing electrical diagrams, working on the actual locomotives and thinking about “the best way to do it”. Our engineers respond to our clients’ specific needs while complying with physical and legal constraints. In short, if you work at the TIE team, you won’t be doing one repetitive job, but you’ll learn a lot about many things at once!

Another thing that the students seemed very interested in is what we call “async comm”. If you’re new to this concept, you can learn more about it here: https://www.railnova.eu/what-is-async-comm/ and read here how it affects Railnovians here: https://www.railnova.eu/first-3-months-nicolas/.  

This is an essential part of our company culture, which we call “the Railnova way”. We shy away from endless meetings and hundreds of emails and rely mainly on written communication. This never fails to surprise candidates. Like the students we talked to, who usually start sceptical but are convinced once they see us in action!

Another “Railnova way” concept that intrigued candidates was our conviction that the best way to learn is by doing. Students can rely on their manager to help them improve and grow every day. There is always room to learn and grow at Railnova, which is fruitful ground for any student looking for an internship where they can learn.   

Railnovians and students interacting at the Polytech Lille student fair

A big thank you to Polytech Lille students

The stand was packed throughout the day, and we had great conversations with students in bioengineering, mechanical, electrical and embedded software and hardware backgrounds. We were incredibly grateful to the students for showing genuine interest in Railnova and our work.

One of the things that surprised us the most was how enthusiastic students were when hearing we are based in the heart of Brussels. We were happy to hear how many students would be eager to move to Brussels and start a new adventure abroad! 

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