Mohammed Larabi, R&D Engineer, OCTG Division – VRCC
I had already been an apprentice at Vallourec, so when I wanted to do a VIE, Vallourec seemed like a natural choice. I was immediately taken by the idea of going to Mexico and working in R&D for Protectors. My VIE took place from February 2016 to January 2018, so it was two years long. I was based in Veracruz at VOGMx in the RDPR (R&D for Protectors) department. Not only did I learn a tremendous amount about protectors, I’ll always remember the adventurous aspect of my VIE. My Spanish was mediocre when I arrived, but my colleagues were always there to help me out with everyday tasks as well as professional ones. Now, I speak Spanish fluently. That was a great advantage during this experience!
I was working in a production support role at a factory before my VIE. It was hard for me to see the big picture of an international group like Vallourec. My vision of the group is different now thanks to my experience in the Protectors department at VOGMx. Working at one of the group’s centers of expertise enabled me to work on key concepts and interact with many different departments (Marketing, Quality, R&D, Sales, etc.). All the years I’ve spent with the group in different roles and contexts (tube production plant, R&D for Protectors, and now R&D for Connections) have helped me get some perspective on my current role and come up with new proposals. With training courses and programs like Simplicity and Customer First (I'm an ambassador for the latter), the Vallourec group continually gives us opportunities to grow and develop our skills.