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Latins Learn British Ways

15 September 2014

Two Brazilian engineering students spent three months with the Costain Severn Trent Water AMP6 Efficiency team learning about Costain, the water industry and lean manufacturing.

Eduardo Valle and José Zilio are spending a year at Derby University as part of the Brazilian Government’s Science without Borders scheme – a programme that sends Brazilian students to study at universities around the world. During their placement with Costain, Eduardo and José worked with Steve Fozard, Supply Chain Manager, to create a catalogue of standard parts that can be used across a range of assets. The placement also involved several visits to suppliers and sites, showing the students the impact of their work.

“We were delighted with Eduardo and José’s enthusiasm, energy and commitment to the challenge of Factory Thinking,” said Steve. “I’m sure a lot of the techniques and skills they have developed during their stay will prove invaluable when they finish their studies and return home.

“For us, this placement helped establish links with Derby University, and enhanced our reputation as a company. It also showed we bring fresh perspectives to what we do, and that we like to behave and think differently. I would love to do another Science without Borders placement again next year.”

Eduardo and José were also pleased. “Our expectations were high but they were not only fulfilled but also exceeded. Our colleagues treated us with total equality and respect, and Steve kept us motivated and did his best to develop us in every possible way during the programme. We not only increased our knowledge but we also learnt how to be proactive and gained more confidence in what we were doing.

“One of our biggest challenges was our lack of background in the construction sector and even less in the water sector. To address it, Steve and Sarah Allez, Project Skills Co-ordinator, arranged a series of meetings and site visits, and got us in touch with experts to help us understand how this sector works. Another great challenge was to understand business culture in the United Kingdom, which again they made easy.”

Amy Fletcher, Placement Co-ordinator for Derby University, said the placement was “a brilliant opportunity” and was impressed at how the students saw all aspects of the business and were treated as employees and not just students. “I feel that the skills they have developed will not only complement their studies but will benefit them in later life when they enter the workplace.”

 

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