25 June 2020

Louise tells us about her situation during the lockdown

Louise, a bioengineer specialized in chemistry and bio-industries and consultant at agap2 for the past year and a half, is now working on her second project as an agapian. After completing a project in equipment qualification/validation and validation of studies in the pharmaceutical sector, Louise is now realizing her dream by working on a project where she is fully exercising her role as a biologist in a waste recycling plant (specifically biomethanization).

Tell us about your project?

“When I arrived, I was responsible for the commissioning of the waste recycling plant (biomethanisation unit) and the monitoring of the plant’s performance. Little by little, I diversified into a plant control station function. I evaluate the parameters at the control station, adjust, modify. I go more into the field.”

Did you feel safe on site? What measures have been put in place by the company where you are carrying out your project?

“First of all, even before the official lockdown date, there was a physical separation of offices.  Then, during the first 3-4 weeks of lockdown, two teams took turns, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with equivalences in terms of roles in order to avoid the spread of the virus. The schedules were adapted, I was in the morning shift but I still had to remain available in the afternoon.

After the closure of the borders to our German suppliers, we had to merge the teams and remain even more cautious. In the meantime, we received masks. Today: access to every living room (canteen, offices, etc.) is limited to a certain number of people and we have gel at our disposal.”

How did you experience lockdown period?

“We considered ourselves “confined” to our factory, kept to ourselves. At the very beginning, when we worked in two shifts, I wasn’t very comfortable because suppliers were still coming to the site when I didn’t think it was especially urgent and we didn’t have any extra masks… We were very careful, and I was really supported by my on-site supervisor. After I got used to this pace, I was less stressed, we were a united team again. Today I feel a lot better because I feel that people are more understanding and that causes less stress.”

How did agap2 react to the situation? Did you feel well supported by agap2? By your manager?

“I have been in contact with my manager by videoconference on a fairly regular basis, and I have been well attended. I was very pleased to receive the masks and the gel (hygiene kit). You were worried in time when you had to!”

What lessons do you learn from this period of lockdown?

“Socially it’s been pretty tough, especially with family. But today I feel more resourceful at work, more independent. I feel very lucky to be able to work on site during all this time, I think that at home I would have become crazy. What’s more, in the morning shift, I took on the equivalent of the role of my manager, so it really helped me gain in confidence and autonomy.”