Knowing what’s next is a common problem facing fresh graduates, and being dubbed inexperienced or underqualified just makes it worse. So, after several frustrating interviews, David Alonso had one last shot at fulfilling his dream to work abroad.
As he agreed to take part in a two-day interview process with Philips in the Netherlands, David was surprised at how friendly and comfortable he was treated from the get-go.
“The recruiters were more interested in knowing details about my career, my interests and what I wanted to do for work instead of challenging me with difficult questions,” he says.
“I never felt judged.”
While some people may think two days of team discussions, interviews and presentations sounds intimidating, David found the process thoroughly enjoyable. What he appreciated most was the transparency of the whole process.
“It was a very open environment,” he says.
“They were clear about their expectations as well as what mine should be from working at Philips.”
The interview turned into a learning experience.
I felt supported right from the start. It was personal and human.
So when he accepted the job in 2011, he planned to be at Philips for a year or two — now he is entering his sixth year in a career in innovation. “I’m here and I’m still happy,” he smiles.
“I didn’t know I could be so enriched by one place,” he says.
As he took his first steps into his first engineering job after graduation, he was met with an unexpected realization. He was being treated like an adult for the first time by an employer.
“Other companies like to tell you what to do,” he says.
“The minute I stepped into Philips they were expecting me to come up with my own responsibilities and method of working. They were flexible in terms of working hours. They just trusted me.”
And while that was quite daunting for a fresh graduate, step-by-step he found his way, and never did he feel unsupported or guided.
“Every year there are new trainings and courses,” he muses.
But that’s not all, what he finds more interesting is the career development that he gets from the inside.
“You have to realize that everyday you are surrounded by experts. They provide you every day with one-to-one coaching. People will mentor you if you ask for it. You can learn on the job, I find that extremely rewarding,” he says.
His career has expanded past his studies. It’s now about more than just making machines.
“Coming from an engineering background, everything was defined. At Philips, engineering took a more human aspect. I know someone will use it, have questions about it, might like it or even not,” he says.
“I came from a limited background. Now, my knowledge is constantly growing.”
While it’s sometimes a challenge to work outside his comfort zone, David is happy that at Philips, there are always opportunities to develop.
“I don’t know what my next step will be, but what comforts me is the fact that I am sure there will be something,” he says.
To be in control of your own career and be empowered to self-steer is liberating. This is what I have at Philips.
Innovation Matters delivers news, opinions and features about healthcare, and is focused on the professionals who work within the industry, as well as Philips as a cutting-edge health technology organization.
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