Nov 22, 2019

Poclain Intern with a Drive for Excellence: Marc Brisson, Rowing Champion


Name: Marc Brisson

Position at Poclain: Student at University Technology Compiegne (UTC) - Predictive Maintenance Intern and Rowing Champion


  • World Rowing Under 23 Championship: 9th in Men’s 8 – Sarasota, FL USA July 2019
  • French National Team selections: 5th in under 23 - Cazaubon, France May 2019
  • French Championship:  3rd in Men’s 4 - Bourges, France June 2019
  • French Championship 2019 - sprint: 5th in Men’s 8– Gerardmer, France September 2019 
  • French Championship 2018 : 1st in Men’s 4 in under 23 - Brive-La-Gaillarde, France July 2018

Goals :

  • Les Championnats du Monde d’Aviron Indoor 2020 - Stade Pierre de Coubertin, Paris, France
  • Championnats de France small boat (Men’s Pair) – Cazaubon, France May 2020
  • Championnats de France long boat – Date and Location TBD
  • Olympic Games 2024 – Paris, France; July 2024

What is your major at UTC?

I am in my fourth year of Mechanical Engineering in the UTC sport elite section, which gives me more time to devote to rowing while working on my studies.

What is your mission at Poclain, how did you learn about us?

I learned about the internship via the UTC portal. It seemed like a company with great values, so I put in my candidature. I interviewed and the subject matter was interesting. Poclain offered me the internship, and I accepted.

Currently, I’m a manufacturing engineering intern with Group Manufacturing Engineering (GME) working on predictive maintenance.

Did rowing have an influence on your decision to pursue an internship in manufacturing engineering?

Not necessarily, but there are many parallels. In rowing, you need to work with many different teams, sizes, and needs and you continuously need to adapt. The way of working and organization does not always stay the same in manufacturing engineering, so you need to adapt to improve.

You said there are a number of parallels to rowing that you are able to draw in your internship. Can you elaborate?

One of the biggest parallels would be the need to work effectively as a team. Rowing helps develop communication skills that allow you to adapt to the team, its size and its needs. The work and organization may be different, but the intensity and exigence is the same. A good example of this is how the selection works for the French national team. Just because you are accepted does not mean that you get to stay – you need to keep working. In manufacturing engineering the team needs to keep working toward a common goal and pushing ahead to ensure success. In both cases, there is a lot of competition and that discipline helps us stay competitive.

Rowing helped me learn how to adapt my communication style to work more effectively across multiple teams. In manufacturing engineering, you need to be able to talk to many different people and adapt in order to bring teams together and motivate them. This is important in change management when implementing new procedures; we build trust and unite the team together around a new concept to ensure it rolls out effectively. I still have a lot to learn about this subject but I can count on my internship supervisor and the GME team to help me.


It seems like many of the soft skills you have honed have found good application in your internship. Do you see any parallels with manufacturing engineering itself?

Another big parallel I see is in training. We train 10 times a week. We work on rowing machines, muscular training, and we put in a lot of time on the water as well to perfect our technique. No matter how much we train, there is always something to improve. Continuous improvement is innate to rowing, and one of the core principals of manufacturing engineering.

There is also a parallel between rowing and lean manufacturing. Rowing is a distance sport. We need to use energy at the right point and productively. In rowing, I am constantly optimizing my technique to use my energy as effectively as possible. In the factory, the team optimizes processes to meet more and more demanding requirements, eliminating waste. A motto for rowing is: Perfection is not attainable, and progression is constant. This fits in an enterprise too. We need to continue to demand more of ourselves to grow. Every year we measure ourselves and work to get better.

Has your internship helped your growth in the sport in any way?

My internship has helped me learn how to address an open subject by defining clear objectives to work toward a common vision. It gave me the opportunity to learn more about the working styles of others as well as how to work effectively with them. 

The drive towards excellence is something innate to Poclain culture. Our colleagues’ multifaceted talents foster new ideas and inspire progress. Marc is one example of many different types of talents and drive that come together to make Poclain what it is today.