As everyone, I was looking forward to fly to an exotic country and discover everything about it. But honestly, after my 3 months internship as a site engineer last summer, I understood that this 8 months internship was a huge opportunity to fill up my CV. In order to be able to compete with other finishing students when I will be looking for a job in 2 years, I tried to define my internship objective.
So, THE objective was to find an interesting position in a well-known company abroad and in a huge project. By working and facing some refusals, I found a position as Site Engineer in Bouygues International on the Qatar Petroleum Project (The group’s largest project at the moment: The amount of the contract is 1 billion euros. Quite huge isn’t it?)
At this moment, I felt like the luckiest guy on earth. For me, everything became clear, it was up to me! I (just) had to give everything I had in my work.
On the 9th of June, I left my home where I have lived my all life, my family which I never left more than 3 weeks, my friends, it was like giving up everything I had for the opportunity of my life. It was kind of stressful.
From the moment I landed in Doha, I went in surprise to surprise.
First, the heat which you can’t understand unless you experience it (Astonishing, you can’t imagine. Little heads up: 35°C at 4.30 am, 48°C at 12 am and 38°C at 8 pm. This is the heat I had to face the first day I arrived in doha). Oh, and in doha, there is also quite a lot of humidity. During July, we faced many times 80% of humidity…
It takes a few weeks to get used to, but it is still very impressive how hot Qatar is. But don’t worry, every indoor place in Doha is air-conditioned. It is so air- conditioned that you could need a sweater or a jacket and due to this radical exposure to change of temperature it’s easy to get sick.
West Bay – Doha
(I live in one of those towers, I’ll let you guess which one !)
Then, the impressive mix of nationalities & cultures you can find in Doha. On site, you have plenty of workers coming from Asia, at the office, people are coming from everywhere around the world. And in my daily life, it is the same. The only common point, it is that Qatar is ruled by the Islam. However, Qatar is really opened to the world by allowing any religion, way of life or culture. For example, expatriates have a particular status that permit them to buy food or product that is forbidden by Islam in a dedicated store.
Finally, my work, my mission and the project is one of my biggest surprises since my internship began.
The project consists of 9 towers (16 to 47 levels for the highest), a five-star hotel with 25 levels and 405 rooms and a conference center, a data center, an energy center. In total, it involves the construction of 696,000 m². At peak times, there are 7,900 workers and 17 tower cranes. Try to imagine the coordination that it needs to run a site like this…
During my first 3 weeks, I followed and worked with one site engineer who was going to leave the company at the end of June. I had to learn everything I could to be able to replace this engineer who had 3 years of experience just on this site…
After this, I was appointed responsible of 3 activities including the Auditorium (the conference center): The most difficult building of the site according to my manager. This is due to the amount of different details and activities in it, which I have to ensure are coordinated (Steel structures, Concrete works, Glass walls & cubes, Stone Cladding, LED Lighting, etc…).
Now after 2 months working on this project, i know that I made the good choice by coming to Qatar.
I have an interesting mission, responsibilities and the most important is that I’m learning every single day. It is not always easy, the mix of tiredness, stress and expectations, pressure from the management makes you believe different sometimes.
Every day is different, it is a big challenge. But I like it! I don’t have any regret at all!