Switching professions: a giant leap, a fulfilling decision
Employed at Safran since 2017, Dikshana Kiddinan is currently pursuing a mobility plan that will culminate with a change in job and work environment. It is an ambitious and rewarding project that illustrates all the opportunities that mobility within the Group offers.
"A win-win situation" is how Dikshana describes her project and the mobility program at Safran. "Mobility means learning a lot in a short period of time and gaining tremendous experience, both professional and personal. But it also means bringing your own background and new ideas to apply them in a new field and a new work environment, with the desire to share with and learn from others as part of a new team."
The blossoming of a talented engineer
Dikshana is currently an Industrial Transfer Project Manager and this mobility project is the first turning point in her Safran journey. The talented young woman joined the Group as an engineer after a brilliant academic career. During her secondary studies at the Lycée Henri IV, she was supported by the Télémaque association, which works for equal opportunities in education by assisting young people from modest backgrounds. At the end of her university studies, she obtained a dual degree in mechanical engineering from INSA Rouen and a Master of Science in Advanced Materials from Cranfield University (UK). It was then that she had the opportunity to visit the Safran Aircraft Engines site in Gennevilliers as part of a tour organized by the Frateli association (now Article 1). "Something clicked," explains Dikshana, "when we explored the site and met the staff. It sparked my interest in aeronautics, then I got my first internship in production. The diversity of products at Safran and the focus on additive manufacturing also contributed to my interest in the Group."
From research to production
Additive manufacturing is the field in which Dikshana has been working for more than three years, from a research perspective. She was an Additive Manufacturing Development Engineer for Safran Additive Manufacturing (SAM) at Safran Tech until 2020, which gave her an understanding of materials and processes as she developed project management expertise. The launch of the Safran Additive Manufacturing Campus (SAMC) in Le Haillan in 2020 gave her a chance to expand her horizons and explore another facet of her specialty. "As the new site was being created, we were told that we could follow the project and change jobs. During a workshop organized by HR to present the future professions at the site, I learned that it would be possible to move from R&T to production. I was already thinking about a mobility project to shift into industrialization and production, so when that door opened and my managers encouraged me, I decided to go for it. There is a wide gap between the two fields, but it's also great to see our research projects take concrete form in production."
Exploring and transitioning before the big leap
The mobility project was launched: Dikshana will become a Production Support Engineer at the Safran Additive Manufacturing Campus in late 2021. To prepare and familiarize herself with the new role, right now she is working as an Industrial Transfer Project Manager, on loan to the Safran Aircraft Engines site in Corbeil. This stop enables her to further enhance and consolidate her project management skills, like an orchestra conductor: "My role is to oversee the repatriation of the existing additive manufacturing resources of Safran Aircraft Engines Corbeil (and Safran Aero Boosters in Belgium) to SAMC. It's about cross-functional management and relationships. It is a matter of building buy-in, persuading, motivating and coordinating several teams from different fields ‒facilities management, HSE, production, maintenance, methods, supply chain, management control, purchasing ‒ to lead us together towards a common goal."
Mobility that aligns with her personal goals
As Dikshana prepares for her new assignment, she is also working toward her personal goals with an assist from the internal mobility support systems. Because in addition to changing professions, she is also changing locations. Her move to the Bordeaux region is a good compromise to stay in touch with her family and friends in Greater Paris and in Toulouse.
In the meantime, Dikshana is delighted with her mobility project and encourages everyone in the Group to consider such an opportunity if it arises. "Changing jobs and changing cities can be intimidating. Indeed, the process requires ambition, preparation and planning ahead, as it can take time and needs to be carried out one step at a time. But at the end of the day, the experience is very rewarding."
- © Dikshana Kiddinan