Emilie Donot: “I've been thriving professionally since I started working in managerial positions.”
- What brought you to Safran Engineering Services?
After earning a master's degree in electronics (with a specialization in microwave technology) from the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Jussieu campus), I joined Safran Engineering Services directly. I was recruited as an EMC engineer – electromagnetic compatibility – on a project for Airbus Helicopters. My job was to integrate the suppliers' electronic equipment into the helicopters. I also checked that the critical equipment remained operational notwithstanding electromagnetic interference or lightning. I had already completed an internship during my studies in the same area of EMC activities and Safran Engineering Services approached me with this opportunity. I relocated and settled near Marseille, in the south of France.
- How has your career evolved within Safran Engineering Services?
I remained in my position until 2013. My expertise is very specific and technical and so I was the right person to carry out that particular assignment with the client. In the meantime, in 2007, I became responsible for the overall qualification and EMC project and up until 2012, I was responsible for coordinating a team of seven to eight people.
- Was taking on managerial responsibilities one of your career goals? A challenge you were interested in taking on?
I have always wanted to be involved in managing beyond just the technical side of things. I used my expertise as a springboard and at a certain point I indicated that I was interested in managing a team. As soon as the opportunity arose, I took it. In 2014, I became head of the Systems Department, overseeing a 35-person engineering team. We monitor the development of helicopter electronic systems: EMC qualification, dependability (RAMS), quality, software and modeling.
- What do you like about your managerial position?
I like getting to know all about the various activities. It gives me credibility. At 40 years old, this position as department head allows me to be fulfilled in my work. I am really interested in the people who make up my team and, although I have sometimes been criticized for it, it is important for me to be true to who I am. Listening often allows you to make the right decisions. We expect a high level of responsiveness, flexibility and results from our teams on a day-to-day basis. We work in high value-added sectors and expertise is not always easy to find and retain. We are implementing long-term measures to maintain our performance. I think you have to know how to get the best out of everyone because, in the end, this is always beneficial for a company.