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If you're going to get swept away, better to be carried upstream

He's not yet 30, but already has plenty of experience behind him. Since obtaining his engineering degree, Christophe Devoille has listened to good advice, and been guided by a series of opportunities that gradually led him to ENGIE.

"Five years ago, I would never have predicted the career I've had since!”

His attendance at the Ecole Nationale des Arts et Métiers graduate school (ENSAM) is down to his college teachers: "I trusted their advice because I knew so little about this field, there are no engineers in my family." His first internships took him behind the scenes of the auto industry and the public works sector, but it is was energy that appealed to him most. He decided to study for an Advanced Masters in Energy and Environment, a dual diploma at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie. He did his graduation project for Areva, in its Nuclear Propulsion and Research Reactors subsidiary. And it taught him patience. "In research, time moves slowly; looking doesn't always mean finding! You learn to take a step back.”

Good networks mean good contacts

Christophe was very involved with charity work at Arts et Métiers. As a board member of the Student Body, he even became treasurer of the school gala at the Chateau de Versailles. On the occasion of the Arts & Métiers Forum, he approached several companies' stands, including that of ENGIE, met an employee of the subsidiary Endel and was told about a job in Cherbourg as Operations Supervisor in pipework. He applied, and got the job. And so began his adventure at ENGIE.

For three years, Christopher worked on pipework prefabrication contracts for the EPR plant in Flamanville. "It was very interesting, on both a technical and human level." At the same time, he benefited from ENGIE's Nuclear Trainee Program, an internal training programme dedicated to nuclear activity, which enabled him to "take an operational position while continuing my training.”

After Cherbourg, he moved to Colombes to take a position as Project Engineer. His mission: to develop the supply chain for the production of technical and commercial offers as part of projects to build EPR reactors in the UK and ITER in Cadarache. Here Christophe took his first steps in management, overseeing five young engineers who, like him, had been on the Nuclear Trainee Program. "I enjoyed this experience of supervising employees and helping them grow.”

A strategic shift

After five years at Endel, Christophe wanted to try his hand at some less technical areas and explore other aspects of the Group. "When I heard about the job offer at ENGIE Consulting, I could see that it was perfectly in line with both of these objectives." This internal consulting entity works primarily on transformation matters. "This position allows me to take a step back. I am getting to know business units from the inside", explains Christophe. "It also gives me access to a large network. " In his opinion, the key to success in his new job is listening, "crucial for understanding customer needs and getting to know each party's point of view", as well as "the courage to challenge these different opinions!”

When he heard about the ENGIE Young Professionals Network (YPn), Christophe quickly became one of its most active members and joined its Steering Committee. After just a few months, he took over the organisation of the second Creative Lab event, which brings together young ENGIE employees who work collectively on new ideas related to pivotal Group issues. He headed up a project team of ten people, who successfully organised and led the event. "Nine of the proposals developed during the Creative Lab are already being tested, including a project on skills availability, a day-long job exchange concept, and an idea for carpooling between employees of the Group. All of these proposals respond to a desire to promote a collective and Group-wide approach, and to integrate with existing projects.  Carpooling, for example, is being developed in collaboration with teams from the ENGIE's Green Mobility project". Christophe is extremely committed to these projects. "The YPn has opened my mind, it has allowed me to meet other colleagues from different backgrounds, whether young professionals or members of senior management. It's a great way to push forward projects that are close to our heart. It creates a real sense of belonging, through a network that's not only professional but also personal too.”

His future in the Group is not yet mapped out: "Five years ago, I would never have predicted the career I've had since!" Christophe will continue his career in his usual way - according to the opportunities that arise, but with a little goal in mind: "I am very keen to devote myself to management activities.”

 Find Christophe on LinkedIn !