Winter Work Term: Paul Ferragu ’26

Where are you working for the Winter Work term?
I’m spending my freshman Winter Work Term at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. 

Why are you interested in this company?
I was originally interested in this company because they design and build the world’s largest cruise ships for leading cruise lines and are at the front of innovation toward sustainable shipping. Although I don’t have a passion for cruise ships, their complexity is certainly fascinating. Everything I learn here will be applicable in almost every other sector of the industry. My personal favorite project they are working on is the Solid Sail. 

How is the work environment?
I am part of an outfitting supervising team. I joined a team of 7 who specializes in supervising the outfitting of anything welded or attached to the metallic hull of the ship. This includes life-saving apparatuses, strategic fire-fighting equipment, mooring decks, hydraulic doors, machinery, and balconies. During my winter work term, I will be supervising the installation of some life-saving apparatuses. 

What skills are you learning at the company?
I am learning technical French terminology and the logistics behind such a large and complex shipyard – there can be up to 8,000-10,000 personnel in the yard at a time and up to 4 ships under construction. There is activity 24/7 in the yard, and thousand-ton blocks are being lifted on an almost daily basis. I am also taking this opportunity to ask questions about the design process of ships. It takes 500 engineers and technicians to realize all the different ship’s plans fully. I am able to help my team with translating English to French and teaching them English terminology to ease their communication with contractors. 

Why are you the best candidate for this internship?
I showed interest in learning from the world’s leading passenger ship shipyard and my French language skills enabled me to do my job in the language spoken daily within my team and with contractors. Some overseas shipyards can accommodate English speakers but that is not standard in French yards.

Where do you see yourself after this internship (or after graduation)?
As I am only a freshman, I will return to Webb after the winter work term to explore more sectors before deciding on one to pursue during my early professional career. I do hope to come back to this shipyard in my junior year to work in the design offices of their new sail and Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) -propelled ships.