At the end of May 2023, we had the privilege of welcoming Oceane Chadru from Guadeloupe, who is currently studying in France, and now is completing her 6 month internship with us. Below she shares more about herself and how she has been finding the experience so far:
I am Oceane and I am from Guadeloupe, an Island in the French Caribbean. Three years ago I moved to France, in Bordeaux, for my studies where I joined an engineering school. I am currently following a 3-year graduate course focusing on Food Science and Technology specializing in lipids and their industrial applications.
For my 6-month end of course, I wanted to go abroad to learn more about valorisation of natural products in another country. South Africa and Australia have always been my two favourite destinations. I applied to various companies, and it was Marten from Parceval who responded. He expressed interest in my application, and that’s how this adventure began.
The aim of my internship is to implement the cleaning validation of the production equipment, as well as working on different projects in Quality Control. But more than the technical and scientific aspect, I am learning a lot about the historical background, the traditions and the lifestyle here. It is very impressive and a real blessing to discover such a rich country.
I was very scared at first to go so far away from my country for such a long time. I tried to prepare myself for anything and just hoped for the best and it has been an incredible experience so far. I was warmly welcomed and I met amazing people. The landscapes, people and the whole country are incredible. I could travel around the country, explore different provinces and create life-lasting memories. I also learnt about the challenges and issues that a company such as Parceval can face here.
Being abroad made me realize that what is depicted on TV about other countries can be so far from the reality and that we have a lot of misconceptions about SA. For example, everyone was convinced that it was always hot and sunny here. Cape Town winter proved me wrong!
Once I finish my studies, my greatest wish would be to go back home in Guadeloupe and work at a company in the field of valorisation of plant extracts. I enjoy travelling a lot so hopefully I will come back to South Africa. In French we have an expression that says “partir pour mieux revenir”. It means that you have to leave in order to come back stronger. I have always wanted to go as far as possible from my country during my studies in order to step out of my comfort zone and then come back to my island full of knowledge and new skills.