What is the most interesting aspect of working at EFFECT Photonics? And what about your job specifically?
I like creating things. It can be creating a new product, but it can also be starting a new department within an existing organization or taking technology from one market and applying it in another. My previous company employed 200,000 people worldwide. If you want to change such a big organization, it is like changing the course of an oil tanker: it will take forever. When I started at EFFECT Photonics in December 2016, we had a lot of unchartered territories ahead of us. That means I could have a massive impact right from the start. You can shape the company’s goals, the roadmap of the products, and your team’s direction. That’s what I like about working here.
A big part of my job is talking to customers and contributing to the future of the telecom market. Telecommunications is an attractive market with billions of euros spent every year.
Companies innovate aggressively to stay ahead of the competition. And there is more appetite for innovative solutions, unlike in healthcare, where innovation is always guided by safety first. In telecoms, innovation comes first; there’s no choice! If you do not deliver high-quality internet connections to your customers who want to stream Netflix, they move to another internet provider. This forces operators to be less risk-averse and more opportunistic. That means we get to innovate and experiment with our customers, and they allow us to do so! What could be cooler than that?
What advice would you give to someone who is planning to apply at EFFECT Photonics?
I can’t recommend anything specific, but in general, determine your goals in life are and try to find a company that aligns with them. Where are you now in your personal life, and how can you find a job that aligns with that?
I think that right now, at EFFECT Photonics, you can learn many new skills and take on many different responsibilities. You will have a lot of freedom. Especially in smaller teams such as mine, you get to do many different things. In this environment, you will experience fast personal growth.
If you are considering applying here, keep in mind that you need to be more assertive and handle a fluid environment – tasks come and go quickly, and some responsibilities are not well defined. You should be proactive and determine your path by yourself.
If this environment is what you want in this phase in your career, this is the place to be. And I repeat: the best advice I can give is to look for a company that fits your current situation and stage of your personal development.
Describe in 3 words what your job is all about.
Voice of the Customer.
My business card says Director of Product Management, which means I lead a team of product managers. We are the link between the customer and our engineering departments. We ask our customers about their challenges and what products they could imagine using to solve such challenges. We ask them what their current and future networks look like and what their customers need.
We have over one hundred engineers, but only half a dozen people talk directly to our customers. These customer-facing roles carry a massive responsibility because, ultimately, the customers pay our bills.
We need to advocate for our customers and ensure everyone in the company understands what our customers need. My team gathers that kind of information and translates it so that our engineering, supply chain, and operations teams can deliver the product our customer needs.
What is your highlight about working here so far?
I enjoyed how surprisingly easy it is to penetrate Silicon Valley and its big companies. I got to work closely with some of the biggest tech companies in the world. And the crazy thing is that they approach us because they love our technology. That tells me we have something special.
There are quite a few highlights I could mention. Presenting our product portfolio and technology at conferences and talking to our customers at the booth of trade shows is also very rewarding. It was also a learning experience to go through three investment rounds and hear how investors think about their investment portfolio and how much they value EFFECT Photonics as part of the photonics and quantum revolutions.
When you are down in the weeds fixing a minor software issue, you sometimes lose track of the bigger picture. However, when you step back and talk to big customers with billion-dollar budgets or to an investment firm looking for the next big thing in telecoms, you feel very proud.
Are you ready to start your journey at EFFECT Photonics?
Search our job openings and start your career in the photonics industry today! Whether you’re in engineering, research or the commercial side, we can help change your future.