An Australian intern in Paris – my time at Air Liquide

By Molly Livingstone, Master of Engineering (Chemical)

It has always been a goal of mine to work overseas, so when I saw an advertisement for an engineering internship in Paris I jumped at the opportunity.

I started researching the role and quickly found that Air Liquide’s work separating air and distributing gases was incredibly relevant to my Master of Engineering (Chemical) and my future career. I also found that Air Liquide’s values aligned closely with my own; specifically, their focus on innovation, creativity and sustainability.

The program consisted of 25 students from 21 different countries who all came together for one week in at Air Liquide’s head office in Paris – a head office located just around the corner from the Eiffel Tower! During the week we attended presentations from each of the different business units, visited some of the company’s important sites throughout France and presented a business case to company executives.

It was breathtaking to see the fabrication of the cryogenic tanks that are part of the Ariane launchers for the European Space Agency as well as the cryogenic systems designed for nuclear research

The presentations from each business unit gave unique insights into how a global company is managed from its headquarters, with clear divisions for each of the different functions of the group. Having chosen the ‘Chemical with Business’ specialisation within my Masters, based on my belief in the importance of both understanding how a business operates and possessing the relevant technical expertise, these presentations enriched my understanding by describing real-world managerial aspects involved in taking on a new project.

The site visits were a definite highlight of my experience. It was breathtaking to see the fabrication of the cryogenic tanks that are part of the Ariane launchers for the European Space Agency as well as the cryogenic systems designed for nuclear research.

Air Liquide interns standing outside Paris office

Air Liquide’s dedication to creativity, innovation, sustainability and diversity was inspiring and strengthened my desire for a career with a company so committed to their values.
Through this opportunity I made fantastic connections with the other students from all around the world which not only taught me new things about so many other cultures but also allowed me to experience the similarities between university students that transcend these cultural boundaries.

This summer I will be undertaking another internship with Air Liquide, this time in their Melbourne office; I’m really looking forward to developing an even better understanding of this organisation!