As an international business graduate with a love for all things strategy, Tjon Chen never expected to end up at Philips — a company he thought “sold only shavers and vacuum cleaners.” The surprise? Now he’s got a dynamic role in innovation.
It’s fair to say that when he started at Philips, Tjon Chen had little experience and little expectation of what he wanted to do. Starting with a couple of internships, then a number of subsequent positions, he is now an Integrated Care Consultant working in a dynamic startup environment.
In many ways, Philips has helped guide him through the first steps of his career journey— something that many young early professionals struggle with.
“Every time I got a new position at Philips, an entire network of opportunities opened up,” he says.
My journey in Philips helped shape my idea of my future career. It shaped my expectations as well as my passions.
While his classmates started junior jobs in finance or consulting, he had a seat at the table and a career that enables him daily to make an impact. And as the first person in his family to attend university, it’s no surprise that his parents are proud.
One of his first impressions upon arriving at Philips, which still holds true today, was the level of diversity in the organization. As a first generation Dutch-Chinese, it was important for Tjon to have an international working environment, where people from different cultures could thrive.
Growing up in a mixed environment where he went from eating cheese sandwiches with his Dutch schoolmates to eating Chinese food with his family, Tjon’s always had an urge for internationalism.
“The multiculturalism spoke to me at that time and still does today. I’ve developed friendships with many of my colleagues,” he says.
“This is where you see that Philips is an international organization.”
And with a global organization comes the possibility of working all around the world.
So, from a marketing internship to his first ‘real’ job. From what he thought would be a job for a couple of years to already starting his fourth year at Philips.
“Many people have been working here for more than 25 years and still have passion for their job,” he says.
Now I understand why! At Philips you don’t stagnate. There are so many places you can go, so many new challenges and so much potential for growth — both vertically and horizontally.
And when he meets up with his old classmates, he notices the amount of freedom he has at his job.
“You have the ability to shape your own days and the tasks you take,” he explains.
And when he detects a challenge, Tjon feels empowered by his team to pursue it and make an impact. As a result, his working environment feels like a start-up. As they break new ground through their innovative digital health solutions and fight through the inertia of current health systems industry more widely, the one quality that remains important is entrepreneurialism.
“It’s the best of both worlds,” he says. “On the one hand you work in a small team and share a whole market. Yet on the other hand you have a big company behind you, with a lot of resources, research, development skills and marketing capabilities.”
This is just the beginning for Tjon. As he continues to make an impact, he can’t help but feel excitement to be a part of Philips at this time. Innovation has become an important part of his life, where he believes he can make an impact on people’s lives.
“We are helping shape the future of healthcare. I truly believe that. It’s a challenge and but that’s what makes it worth it.”
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.