#LoveMySafranJob: “For me, Safran means progress”
#LoveMySafranJob: “For me, Safran means progress. You must be open to all opportunities to learn, share and interact. And I love nothing more than a challenge!” Ishen, Safran Aerosystems, Tunisia.
Passion, new challenges and perseverance are what have guided and shaped Ihsen Timoumi’s career so far. Ihsen (26) joined Zodiac Equipment Tunisie in 2016 and gained experience in various parts of the company before becoming manager of the Elastomers autonomous production unit at Safran Aerosystems in Tunisia. She talks about how her career got off to a flying start.
You’re passionate about technology. What led you into aerospace?
I’ve always been interested in mechanical engineering and in high school I opted for technical classes. Being a woman in a rather male-dominated field was a challenge, but it just motivated me even more. At the National Engineering School in Bizerte, Tunisia, I specialized in mechanical engineering, aircraft structures and sizing. I applied to several companies for an end-of-study internship and eventually joined Zodiac Aerospace's Elastomers Reporting Unit. At the time, I never imagined that just three years later I’d be working for Safran after the two companies merged!
You soon moved to more senior positions. How did it happen?
After my internship, I was asked to take over as Elastomers Deicing Systems production shop manager. It was another new challenge. I learned quickly on the job, with my manager’s support. He trusted me and helped me build my career plan. A year later, I was offered the position of operational excellence manager at the Elastomers and Composites unit. It was a slightly unusual situation, because it involved merging two units into one. I helped resolve change management issues — which wasn’t always easy, given my relatively young age. But ultimately, we all learned to work together, and I definitely grew on the job. For the last year, I’ve been managing the Elastomers autonomous production unit, which has 110 people. It’s another significant challenge, which I was encouraged to take on — and I’m so glad I did!
You’re now part of Safran. What does the Group mean for you?
I’m really proud to be working for the world’s third-largest aerospace company (excluding planemakers) and playing a part in the manufacture of products that make flying safer — like helicopter fuel tanks and deicing systems for wing leading edges. I'm also aware of the career opportunities within the Group. I can already see myself in different roles, whether in Tunisia or elsewhere. For me, Safran means progress. Since Zodiac Aerospace became part of the Group, we’ve benefited from Safran’s methods, standards and commitment to continuous improvement. I’m the second person to lead a One Safran project in Tunisia, and I found it hugely rewarding.
What advice would you give other young managers within the Group?
Don’t hold back — go for it and really excel in your field. Be open to all opportunities to learn, share and interact, whether on a technical issue or a personal level. Dare to take risks and embrace challenges, whenever you get the chance. That’s what I’ve been doing for three years now — and it’s why I love my job!