My career in the industry: Mehdi Tamim

Mobility Work is putting industrial careers into the spotlights! Today, we interviewed Mehdi Tamim, who talked about the link between industrial design and maintenance, and remembered the early beginnings of Mobility Work, the first community-based maintenance management platform.

Can you tell us about your professional background?

After I obtained a diploma in industrial mechanical sciences and technologies in 2012, I passed an Advanced Technician's Certificate in industrial mechanical production. During this two-year program, I learnt the different mechanical manufacturing procedures and methods, as well as industrial maintenance tools. With this knowledge, I was able to work for a subsidiary of ArcelorMittal specialized in reinforcing bars and wire rods, where I carried out my graduation project.

Following this Certificate, I entered a professional Licence program, in order to gain new skills in hydraulics and automatism and build up my previous knowledge. I then did a three-month internship at FMGC, French material transformation specialist Farinia Group’s casting subsidiary. At the end of this internship, I was offered a three-month contract as a design drafter.

This opportunity reaffirmed my determination to pursue education and gain further expertise. I then joined a professional Master Degree in industrial engineering. In order to acquire more professional experience, I began an apprenticeship program. For two years I worked for FMGC as an assistant project manager. Throughout this apprenticeship, I worked hand in hand with the maintenance and new works departments on diverse projects.

I now work as a mechanical design engineer at Segula, a French provider for the automotive industry, which designs tools used during the production process of motorized vehicles.

Why did you choose apprenticeship?

Besides a financial interest, apprenticeship offers a true professional advantage. There is a strong complementarity, a balance between courses at the university, during which we are taught theoretical knowledge, and the company, where we develop practical and technical skills. I remember discovering new norms, new technologies on the field, that my Master Degree lacked of. I learnt a lot thanks to this experience.

Everything that I learnt during my internships or apprenticeship has already helped me greatly to find a job. During a job interview, it is always a plus to master the technical terms used within the organizations and, more broadly, the industrial field. This is not something that we will learn in books.

Apprenticeship is always a great way to develop new skills quickly. Nowadays, even more recruiters are looking for candidates with at least two years of professional experience, which is often hard for young professionals who just graduated from the university. In my case, after I graduated, I was able to put the value of a two-year experience to good use thanks to the apprenticeship program: it is genuinely a strong argument to convince recruiters.

I keep a fond memory of my apprenticeship, it was a rich experience and a true opportunity. It was also at this time that I first met Marc-Antoine Talva (CEO of Mobility Work) who was working on his latest project: Mobility Work next-gen CMMS. I remember to be the first intern to have worked on Mobility Work; they gave me the nickname “intern #1”. (laughs)

How was Mobility Work received at the time?

It was very interesting to witness: Marc-Antoine aimed at developing a next-gen CMMS software, which was more intuitive and user-friendly. Mobility Work simplified industrial maintenance interventions for the teams involved by making tasks, intervention times, files, maintenance data and ERP connection more accessible. In fact, we can see a clear difference compared to traditional CMMS when we search for a database, for instance; Mobility Work is quicker and more convenient.

In my design work too, I could benefit from the advantages of this next-gen CMMS. When I had to complete a stake or to draw spare parts, I would directly integrate my plans into Mobility Work CMMS. Maintenance teams then had an immediate access to my projects.

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In the past, I had already had the opportunity to work on other CMMS software. For example, during my Master Degree I received a training on these applications. According to me, Mobility Work is more accessible, even without any prior training. Everyone can easily create industrial maintenance interventions or enter the amount of time required to carry them out. This next-gen CMMS is very user-friendly.

Why did you choose to work in the industry?

I must say it happened by accident. When I was younger, I used to dream about becoming an auto mechanic. In North Africa, where I studied, there isn’t a large choice of specialities: mechanics, electricity, physics… So, I turned to a baccalaureate in mechanics to get into the automotive field. However, in the course of my studies, I learnt a lot about industrial maintenance. That made me change my mind and move towards this sector.

How does industrial maintenance fit in your career path?

On a daily basis, I am in charge of technical drawing, therefore my profile is more focused on design than it is on maintenance. Yet, during my apprenticeship at FMGC, I worked as an intermediary between maintenance teams and the New Works department, which takes part to the continuous improvement of production processes and may have to manage different projects including investment projects. This position gave me the opportunity to explore the various specificities of industrial maintenance.

During technical shutdowns, the maintenance teams carry out many interventions. I was regularly in touch with maintenance professionals; I used to draw spare parts for them, for instance.

I am always trying to take the best out of what I learnt during my previous experiences - whether it was during an internship or my apprenticeship. For instance, when I design a tool or a system, I think about the easiest way to repair it if it breaks down. You need to have some notions of security, habilitations, etc.

In other words, even though I don’t work in direct relationship with maintenance teams, I strive on a daily basis to integrate industrial maintenance issues into my design process. I need to have a comprehensive view over my products’ lifecycle.

How do you explain the unpopularity of industrial jobs ?

In North Africa, where I lived for a number of years, industrial maintenance often suffers from a bad reputation: too dirty, too hard or too technical. There are still a lot of prejudices.

Even at school, we are taught only the theoretical aspects of maintenance. I believe that maintenance should be learnt on the field, only there can we explore new aspects, develop new skills and improve our know-how. I think industrial maintenance is made for people who are curious, who want to understand how equipment are working, and want to resolve problems.

What advice would you give to people who are interested in exploring this path?

I would tell them not to let the first difficulties discourage them. Moreover, those who don’t want to study for too long can always choose the path of apprenticeship. You will have the possibility to learn more on the field; this is where you will build your expertise. However, I think we can easily go on with our studies, up to a Licence of Master degree. The most important thing is to show determination and curiosity in order to learn about the different aspects of the industry.

Over the past few years, industrial maintenance underwent deep changes, particularly with the emergence of new technologies. Personally, I think that what we learn during our studies is not always consistent with the reality of organizations. That is why I recommend to everyone to get involved into a vocational training to learn the most.

Thank you to Mr Tamim for his testimony. To be alerted of our next articles dedicated to industry careers, follow us on our social media! LinkedIn, Facebook et Twitter.

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