LAB42: audacity, experimentation & technology

Here at Natixis, several students with varying study paths and profiles have the opportunity to get involved in projects, initiatives and labs specifically devoted to their talents. From innovation, to new technologies and business cases, these talented profiles bring a dynamic attitude and open-mindedness to the table in several teams, but what are their expectations and how do they see the world of work, especially in the banking sector? Hear from Graziella Hippodam in our report.

Graziella Hippodam Natixis

Graziella Hippodam, machine learning developer: “Lab42-Natixis gave me the code number to unlock the door”



From her degree in Korean to the challenges of Lab42-Natixis, Graziella Hippodam plotted a path to the job of her dreams

Getting involved in artificial intelligence, machine learning and cybersecurity was a bold move, but before she found her path, Graziella Hippodam had to look hard and persevere: “before I got to where I am today, I had to go back to my first love – science and logic”. With her baccalaureate and her Korean degree achieved, Graziella spent a year studying at university in Hankuk (South Korea) and then returned to Le Havre in Normandy, “in one of the only universities that allowed me to continue Korean and study economics and business at the same time”. However, fairly quickly, Graziella realized that her Masters in international management would not enable her to achieve her goals, and after some experience in the workplace as head of client support, she decided to jump in feet first and knocked on the door of Ecole 42. This digital training school set up by Xavier Niel in 2013 trains developers from the world over at no cost, taking an independent and innovative approach.

Natixis’ promise – Much more than just an internship – was really attractive

After a year of collaborative work via peer learning, Graziella finally lived her coding dream at Lab42, the R&D lab developed in cooperation between Natixis and Ecole 42. “I saw Natixis’ job ad and their promise – Much more than just an internship – and was drawn to it. Given that I’m that bit older, I have an unusual career path, and the experience gained at 42, I needed to really throw myself into it and have real autonomy. I felt really welcome and fully included. Led by Alexandre Collemare and with the support of all the supervisors at Natixis, the goal of my internship was clearly set out – I was tasked with designing an automatic detection system for error logs (in IT language, this log is a text file that lists the events that have affected a system in chronological order). In other words, I had to design an artificial intelligence system that can detect sensitive log entries, and put forward ways to address this almost in real time to analyze and correct the errors. This really helps save a lot of time.” Lockdown did not disrupt Graziella’s internship, as remote working was common practice at Ecole 42 so she was used to it. Meanwhile, half-way through, she continued her role with even greater drive: in September, she will be staying on with a one-year work-study placement contract at Natixis. “I feel a real responsibility for the role I’ve been given, and with my work partner Romain Kirszbaum and the support of our supervisor, we are in charge of setting up the system from A to Z. It is really rewarding to know that our work will be useful for the teams, just like in a start-up!”

Annick Logeart Natixis A. Collemare Natixis

Annick Logeart, Human Resources manager, and Alexandre Collemare, Head of Lab42 at Natixis: “Lab42 is inventing the bank for younger generations”

 “We were impressed by the philosophy at Ecole 42. It is highly unusual, free of charge, open to all regardless of their qualifications, and renowned as one of the best coding schools worldwide. To attract the most outstanding talents, we asked participants to look at the most up-to-date aspects of artificial intelligence – tackling credit risk detection, malicious attacks, security, data or the cloud. Supervisors really welcome this relationship with Lab42 students, who are both independent and engaged in finding new ways of investigating these issues, and can breathe fresh momentum into teams at the company. Meanwhile, students are given access to real data and can gain a better understanding of the regulatory requirements a large company faces, including security aspects. They have an open space office in our Charenton office, where they can maintain the sharing and experimentation approach that is so specific to Ecole 42, with the support of their advisor Alexandre Collemare. We plan to continue and extend the experience with a group of 15 students for next year’s edition. We have achieved our goal – always going off the beaten track beyond in our experimentation and finding the best digital profiles, taking a lab-type and innovation-driven approach with young talents who want to be challenged.”