Program Presentation and study plan
BSc (180 ECTS credits)
Video (in French): Leda Calgeer, testimonial
Bachelor and Master degrees in Civil Engineering (specialization “Transportation”, 2011)
Aurélien Odobert works as a project manager at an engineering office, in Montreux.
…I’ve been interested in architecture since I was a kid, but I had many other ideas and interests before I started studying at EPFL. Actually, when I chose my studies, the most important thing for me was to find a field that would give me as many opportunities as possible for the future. I did a first year in architecture, a year that I failed, and then decided to study civil engineering. Let’s say that civil engineering is the Cartesian side of architecture, and I like it more.
When I applied for my first job, I was in Montreal doing my Master’s thesis. I therefore had a job waiting for me in Switzerland before coming back. This first job—supposed to be the most important one for a young graduate—lasted only four months. The boss actually needed someone much more experienced than I was… After that, a work agency suggested that I changed my profile a little bit, that I shouldn’t only look for a job in transportation, but be open to working in other fields. I followed their advice, and I’m now working as a project manager in an engineers office that give me a chance!
Our office employs about 20 people and manages projects in the building sector (private houses, buildings complexes, renovating, transformations), but also projects less typical for civil engineering, like the ski lifts in Diableret or renovating the CGN boats. To manage different projects is a clear objective in the office. After 3 years, I’m responsible for managing entire projects, from the first calls to the end of the work. It’s always a very special moment to see your project in front of you, once it’s finished.
I think that civil engineering is one of the departments that gives you the most possibilities to find a job. I love having responsibilities in the company, being the one who makes my project succeed, or not, having to constantly find solutions, manage a team, and even not knowing what kind of project I will work on tomorrow. Moreover, the salary is good, even at en entry-level position.
But everything is not perfect! It’s a job where you can’t always do what you want, and you often have to work long hours to meet the client’s requirements, or do some training. Like for any other job, there are good and bad days. You will have to be able questioning yourself all the time and remember than nothing is written in stone. You will be the one who have to make your own experiences and take opportunities.
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