Interview of Blandine Barabé
“These experiences help you to be a strong yet soft person. Combining the mobility and the research experiences, you become a solution finder.”
Blandine Barabé — FAME 2013-2015 alumna
After the Master, I started my PhD immediately. I was part of the innovative training network, Marie Sklodowska-Curie grants. The theme: directive structure of microscope. Inside this network, I had a position with the Nestlé Research Centre in Lausanne, in collaboration with Forschungzentrum Jülich in Germany. I’m working three days a week on a project close to my PhD.
FAME+: How did your experience at FAME Master help you find this PhD position?
Blandine: I think the Fame Master gave us a high-level training in functional materials science. Also in Grenoble INP I had some opportunities to do M2 internships which helped me to go to the field of soft matter and finally get this PhD in soft matter. During the Fame Master, we developed a strong cross culture competence, especially with the remote project. The first meeting was quite interesting; we didn’t fully realise that we were working with people in Portugal – we were late because of the time difference issue. This remote project, being able to study in two different universities in two different countries helped us gain a lot of experience. That is very valorised to Having a double diploma at a high level is much sought after and a definite plus to when applying for a PhD, especially a PhD in a European framework.
FAME+: Has FAME Master contributed to your personal development?
Blandine: We all chose the countries that we wanted to go to. For instance, as Germany has a good tradition in engineering, I wanted to see how this was done. Having these experiences and knowing and speaking German opens lots of doors. At the end of Fame Master, I had experience in research and working experience in the USA, in Germany, in Switzerland, in Greece. That was definitely good for the next step. And another soft skill to develop, when you change countries, you have to develop a lot of qualities. You have to deal with administrations, you have to be persistent, because things do not always work as expected. I think all these experiences help you to be a strong yet soft person. Combining the mobility and the research experiences, you become a solution finder.
FAME+: According to you, what are the particularities of the FAME Master?
Blandine: What is good in Fame is that the classes correspond to the reality of the research. Fame has some industrial partnerships so if you’re looking for industry related opportunities you can contact people easily. So being specialized, it’s good in this sense. In research, you can always combine the two if you wish to. For instance, I was interested in optical systems. At the first I couldn’t see any links between this and materials but in the end you can always come around to something that you like.
FAME+: Do you have some advice to new students?
Blandine: 1st piece of advice, don’t hesitate to try Fame Master. 2nd piece of advice, learn languages each time you go to a country where you don’t speak the language – it helps you to integrate in your working environments and out-of-work environments. It makes the experience better. Enjoy the classes and enjoy the intercultural experiences.
FAME+: How would you describe FAME Master in three words?
Blandine: High level training in materials science, door opener.