When Gergana Damyanova started an internship with Philips six years ago, little did she know that Philips was going to shape her career. Originally from Bulgaria, she’d only come to the Netherlands to study.
Gergana says, “Like many young people, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. There was an opportunity for an internship and I thought, why not?”
An economics graduate, Gergana made multiple career switches within Philips to test out different functions.
“I’m learning constantly about what I do and don’t like doing, and what I can and can’t do,” she added.
I can’t imagine any other job in the world where I would get that opportunity to work across a range so wide and diverse.
Making these career switches has not only rewarded her personal ambitions but the quality of her work as well.
“Switching functions for the past few years has enriched the way I see the company. It really helps in discussions, in projects, and knowing how my other colleagues see challenges,” she continues.
It’s now almost six years since Gergana’s early days as a Philips’ intern. “It has been too good to leave!” she says.
Gergana loves working for a company that supports its employees in finding fulfilling careers.
“It’s easy to switch between functions. If you're not happy with your job, you can move to another project, function or department and Philips’ managers support the decision to find something that makes you happy,” she goes on to say.
For her, having the freedom to shape her own career is invaluable. She believes that this has to do with Philips’ core value system.
Philips is a people’s company. By that I mean they have a tradition of caring about the health and happiness of their employees.
Gergana finds it rewarding to work for a company dedicated to improving millions of peoples’ lives as well as their own people.
With that atmosphere comes the space to have your opinion heard. “It’s not a simple okay, you're young and at the beginning of your career so you have to wait for 20 years until you can express your opinion,” she says.
“Actually it’s more like, yeah go ahead and do that, say what you think, be bold. People appreciate a little guts.” She realizes that her work is valued and recognized.
But there’s more. Philips has become like a second home for her where she has made unforgettable memories – and friends. “As a young professional, Philips is an easy place to make friends and build a network,” she asserts.
“Especially if you are coming from abroad. You never feel alone, it’s a diverse place and there are many events organized.” One of the events, which she took part in for the last two years, is a sailing trip in the North sea.
“It was challenging, exciting and difficult,” she adds. “It’s amazing to do that together and build bonds as you compete against other companies. I made the friends I hang out with today. It feels like you’re a part of a tribe.”
And as the ‘crew’ worked together they were even able to snatch first place.
Gergana may have crossed one finish line, but she is far from her career finish line. While she’s currently working with big data to forecast the future of Philips as a supply chain analyst, it comes as no surprise that she might be doing something else for Philips soon.
“If you’re dedicated, you don’t always have to wait and search for opportunities. Opportunities come to you and people at Philips are very open about it,” she smiled.
When people are happy with somebody, they chase them to be in their team. It’s a rewarding environment with plenty of opportunities for growth.
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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.