Tutoring: knowledge transfer on a day-to-day basis
Knowledge transfer is essential for the company’s future and can take many different forms. To find out more about tutoring, we spoke to Julie, 29, additive manufacturing methods designer at Safran Tech, and Arthur, 27, her apprentice for the past year.
Tutoring is a form of knowledge transfer that is particularly effective for maintaining critical skills over the long term and preparing the transition period when someone is planning to leave a team. But it’s also a great way to provide training and support to young talent. Julie has accompanied three interns since her arrival at Safran Tech and is currently supervising a PhD student. A year ago, she decided to take the experience further by agreeing to tutor Arthur, who was then in his second year of engineering school.
“I love being able to pass on my knowledge,” says Julie. “As well as helping someone else grow, it enables me to strengthen my own skills, because it forces me to question my practices, review the fundamentals I take for granted, and talk about my area of expertise in terms that are easy to understand.” Arthur shares Julie’s enthusiasm: “I opted for a work-study placement for my last two years of engineering school because I wanted to put my knowledge into practice in a real-world environment and acquire on-the-job learning experience. And I’m very glad I did!”
For Julie, being a tutor primarily consists in helping her apprentice enhance both his technical skills and his career prospects. “A year at engineering school doesn’t teach you about the world of work,” observes Julie, adding: “Arthur’s an exception because he worked for a while before going back to school.” Julie’s role is to help Arthur become familiar with the Group and its culture, products and processes. “She also makes sure I have everything I need, whether that’s IT equipment, administrative resources or professional contacts,” says Arthur. “As soon as I arrived, Julie introduced me to her colleagues in the Methods, Tools & Applications team so that I could broaden the scope of my learning experience beyond additive manufacturing. I really feel like part of the team.”
A few months after Arthur’s arrival, Julie was able to complete a Safran University training program designed specifically to help tutors fulfill their role effectively. “It was reassuring to learn that I’d instinctively been doing what’s expected of a tutor,” says Julie. “It also gave me some additional ideas, particularly on how to integrate the apprentice into a development plan that spans the two years of their contract.” For Arthur, this long-term approach is fundamental: “Being able to co-build my work-study program with Julie – based on both her needs and my preferences – gives me a real sense of motivation and a clear path to follow.”
A rewarding experience
A year has passed since Julie and Arthur started working together on methods projects aimed at developing the use of additive manufacturing at Safran. “In the beginning, I spent a lot of time explaining what I do and providing Arthur with written resources to build on his skills,” Julie explains. “However, he very quickly became autonomous enough for a less formal approach. Now, I assign him projects and let him find the solutions himself. But I'm still available if he needs me.” Arthur appreciates this trust-based relationship, which allows him to prove his worth. “I feel like I'm making an active contribution to these projects, just like any other member of the team,” he says. “And I'm learning so much, which obviously enhances my employability. This tutoring program has really given me the opportunity to acquire two years of solid work experience.”
So, what do they see as the keys to a successful tutoring relationship? For Julie, it’s enthusiasm, patience and an educational approach; for Arthur, communication, collaboration and commitment. Tutoring clearly has a lot to offer! In addition to benefiting the company, it also provides an invaluable opportunity to those involved to significantly enhance their technical and personal skills.
- © Safran
- © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran