In 2015, it was my team leader who suggested that I consider taking an engineering degree in order to develop within the company. I had joined Innate Pharma almost 10 years earlier, after a bachelor’s in biotechnology. I was a laboratory technician, I had worked in several teams, and at that time I was part of the antibody production team. It is very rewarding to know that your supervisor wants your work to be recognized.
After conducting research, I decided to take the BIOTIN Master degree (Project Management and Innovation in Biotechnology) at the University of Nîmes-Montpellier.
My curriculum was in two stages:
- I took advantage of the VAE system (validation of acquired experience) to validate part of my diploma. For a year, outside of working hours, I prepared the thesis necessary for this VAE. It has been very demanding but I got support from the University team and from my supervisor. At the end of my oral defense, the jury asked me to complete this work by validating some additional credits at the University and to carry out, like every student in this course, a 6-month internship.
- With my hierarchy and the HR team, we organized the conditions so that I could do this internship within the company, in a team other than mine, but on a subject that would also contribute to my team. As part of the molecular biology team, I developed a method to improve our antibody production system. At the end of this internship, and as I had also validated my credits, I defended my work in front of a jury and I graduated.
It was an important commitment from me, but also from the company: Innate Pharma covered my registration fees, travel and accommodation expenses, thus completing the financing provided by a vocational training agency. The courses I took at university were half on my working time and half on my leave. And the company agreed that I could do my internship internally while keeping my salary level. Beyond these practical and financial aspects, I was supported in this process by my team and my hierarchy.
In the end, it was a lot of work, but I now have a Master’s degree.
We are discussing my evolution towards a position as a research engineer, which will involve more responsibilities, better remuneration, and also the recognition of some of the missions I already carry out today
Céline, a biochemistry and purification laboratory technician at Innate Pharma since 2006, has passed her engineering diploma