"Sometimes it was even easier to get in touch with each other."
Lucas Feron is an international student from the École Normale Supérieure Paris – Saclay, where he is doing his master in Physics. In February 2020 he came to the Netherlands to do his internship at our Product Development department. But unfortunately he couldn’t stay long at the DAF premises in Eindhoven. After a couple of weeks, COVID-19 made its appearance. Because of the lockdown Lucas had to pack his bags and return to his home country much sooner than expected. The rest of his internship he had to work completely remotely on his assignment.
Lucas is studying Physics and is specializing in Fluid Dynamics. He decided he wanted to do his internship at an company, to gain some practical experience. When he read about the assignment he knew he wanted to apply. “I do my assignment at the Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) department, which is part of the Engine Development department at DAF. For my assignment I helped the team to better understand the behavior of their software, so they can make better use of the software during future simulations..”
“I was really looking forward to go to the Netherlands and gain experience and discover how it would be working in a large international organization. The first month I got in touch with different colleagues – also from outside my department – and I discovered and learned lot of new things. That was great. But after a few weeks I had to go back to France because the borders were closed and we didn’t know how long the situation would take.”
A remote internship
“The contrast was great when I was back in France. It was really different. Especially in the beginning it was tricky, because there weren’t any boundaries anymore. For instance, sometimes I woke up in the middle of the night, knowing one of my simulations was just completed.”
“Luckily my supervisor was of great support. During the first weeks, we had a call at the end of the day. The idea was to help me to work remotely and find a way to create my own routine. We created an efficient way to get in touch with each other. And sometimes it even felt that my supervisor was even closer, because it was so much easier to get in touch with each other.”
Even though Lucas could not be physically at the DAF premises, he still got a chance to know where everyone was working on. “Every Friday there was a special online team meeting where every team member could present the specific topic where they were working on.”
Choose something you are passionate about
“I am quite happy how everything turned out. My biggest achievement is that I’ve helped the people to understand the software and learn to work with it for upcoming simulations.”
And although Lucas couldn’t experience living abroad in the Netherlands, he is glad that he got this opportunity. “I was luckily to do my internship at DAF, because my internship wasn’t postponed or cancelled. It was pretty great what they’ve managed for students.”
His tip of advice to other students would be to choose something because you find it interesting and not to choose something because it looks good on your resume. “It’s going to be very difficult to do something for the rest of your career if you’re not interested in what you are doing. So you better choose something you are passionate about.”