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Baptiste, first year military (IETA) student engineer at ENSTA Bretagne

07 April 2020
Baptiste, military IETA (1) student engineer comes from Toulon. Currently in his first year of studies at ENSTA Bretagne, he shares his experience of arriving in Brest, the memorable moments of his first year, his experience in associations and his future projects, with us.
Class of 2022
Baptiste, military student engineer

What was your education history before your joined ENSTA Bretagne?

I was in a state high school in the city of Toulon for my education. I prepared the competitive entrance exams at the Dumont d’Urville High School, in MPSI (Higher  Mathematics, Physics, and Engineering Sciences), then PSI (Advanced Physics and Engineering Sciences). Even if I was offered some pretty good schools, my results in the competitive entry exams convinced me that I could do even better,and so I redid a year.

Why did you choose engineer training at ENSTA Bretagne?

In the South (in France), you do not hear much about ENSTA Bretagne (Brest and Toulon have a lot in common and there is a little bit of rivalry). My friends told me that ENSTA Bretagne was at the leading edge of ordnance careers. I thought this school would be out of my reach until I became eligible. I also chose it for its unique mechanics program : automobile and naval mechanics. The school also stands out for its IETA program: the possibility to become a military engineer (IETA1), to be able to work as an engineer for the DGA (Direction Générale de l’Armement or French Technology and Procurement Agency).

How did you find your arrival in Brest and at the school?

I arrived at the train station in Brest, a few days before the start of the year, where I met another IETA student who told me there was a free seat in the shuttle-bus driven by two members of the BDE (Student’s Union). So as a result, I was accompanied right up to the students’ hall of residence where I live, and the common room where I met some of my current friends in my year.

After passing the Mines-Telecom competitive entrance examinations in 2018, like all military students (20% of the year), I did a year of military training. This is what we call Year 0. I was assigned to the Navy in Brest, so I was already familiar with the city. However, I was often on missions and did not get much further than the Rue Jean-Jaurès, the high street in the center of Brest. Induction in September allowed us to really discover our student city.

Have you joined any associations ? If so, which associations and what are you doing?

I really like joning in school life. For the moment, I am doing 4 projects.

  • I am an administrator of the junior-Enterprise of ENSTA Bretagne « Junior Impact », as vice-president and head of the studies follow-up pole. In other words, I help the president and I look after the internal cohesion of the junior so that the president can look after our partner and customer relations. As head of the pole, I have to designate the heads of studies associated with our different missions and be able to take a step back to spot the possible difficulties and act as a consequence.
  • I am also a member of the AS (2) Natation as a swimmer and was selected to take part in the TSGED (3) (Sports Tournament of the Graduate Defense Schools) in the 100m breast stroke. This was the opportunity to strengthen relations with the military, the civilian general engineering students and the co-op (apprentice) engineering students within our year and the other three years. 
  • I am a member of the ENSTAéro Club where I enjoy being able to go to air shows.*
  • And from the beginning of the year, I have been in Rock’NSTA. I do not know this discipline and had never danced before. With my partner, Marie, we took part in the Rock’NSTA competition in the common room and won. 

What are the most memorable projects/moments of your year?

The year is far from over, but I would say the most memorable event of the year was passing from Junior-Initiative status to Junior-Enterprise status with the Junior IMPACT association which gave us more credibility with the financiers (the school and companies). I presented out Junior Enterprise to The Presidents’ Annual General Meeting in Lille. It was important for me. I presented the work of the two mandates and we convinced them!

And for this confinement period ? How are you following lessons?

As luck would have it, for the last few weeks, I have been renting with students from ENSTA Bretagne. That makes the confinement easier. The essential equipment is the combination of Smartphone/PC. ….. The digital platform, Aurion gives us our lesson schedule. The teachers send us regular emails with lesson plans. I try hard to follow video lessons and do my personal activities: Junior Enterprise, learn Russian, learn classical guitar, do sports exercises and cooking. I remain very active within Junior Enterprise because we are used to working at a distance. 

Would you have any advice to give students who are taking the competitive entrance exams this year?

Everyone is in the same boat, so have a go « If you want it enough, you will get it ».

What are your plans for the future ?

Firstly, to succeed in my semesters to join the DGA by being well ranked. I would like to specialize in Naval Architecture in my 2nd and 3rd years and why not do a substitution in Latin America or Scandinavia. After that, as an IETA, I will have a career as an engineer within the DGA or the Ministry of Armed Forces.

(1) IETA : Ingénieur des Etudes et Techniques de l’Armement or Armament Studies and Technologies  Engineer (military engineering student status under contract with the DGA after the competitive entrance examinations ; they represent 20% of the engineering students in each year).
(2) AS : Association Sportive or Sports Association which groups together all the sports clubs.
(3) TSGED : Tournoi Sportif des Grandes Ecoles de la Défense or Sports Tournament of Graduate Defense Schools. This is the annual sports meeting of the 13 graduate schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Armed Forces. You will find the X, ENSTA Paris, ISAE Supaéro…ie a couple of hundred sports men and women in many individual and team disciplines.