- What is your name?
- Where do you work and what is your role/job title?
Taoglas Ltd. In Subsidiary Taoglas GmbH in Munich, Germany as Antenna Engineer.
- Who are the people who most influenced your career direction?
In the biggest part myself, however my family did steer me quite early towards STEM (elementary school).
- Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
How did you go about getting your current job?
As I was in an academic research position I started by reading online materials on successful transfer into industry, also I’ve always read general career advice on business websites as HBR, and Forbes. That helped me to polish my LinkedIn profile, and eventually I applied on Taoglas job add on LinkedIn and was successful in securing an interview and then the job itself.
- Describe a typical day.
There isn’t a typical day as Antenna Engineers in Taoglas cover both R&D activities on new portfolio products, as well as integration support to customers and sales. That makes the job dynamic and interesting. So I would say typically in a week I’d talk to at least a few customers together with my Sales colleagues and advise them on best antenna solution for their device. These meetings are sometimes face-to-face in our or customer’s office, or via online conference-call. I would also spend at least one-two days working on my current internal product development projects.
- What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
On R&D side it is everything that has to do with designing, making prototypes, testing and making an product ready for transfer to production. That means developing device itself as well as solutions to problems that arise, and also deciding best practices and options to take on the project. All of these are naturally communicated with my supervisor the Europe Middle East and Africa Engineering Manager.
On the customer support side it is talking to, and more importantly listening to, customers, drawing up on your product knowledge, and devising a best solution for their case.
- What are the main challenges?
For me the main challenge is lack of time, or maybe better said not being able to dedicate equal amount of time to all projects, having to prioritize some projects over others. That is for me especially hard when I personally enjoy or like those that have to be put on hold. But that is part of a professional setting and one gets used to it.
- What’s cool?
The coolest part for me is the fact that Taoglas is a truly global company, and I as an Engineer in Europe collaborate and go visit our sites in Taiwan and United States. I also enjoy traveling to visit customers, and attending trade shows as company representative on our booth, however that might not be so for everyone. The freedom we get in working on technical projects is also very cool. Also opportunities to learn either by formal training or informally on the job from more experienced colleagues.
- What’s not so cool?
When things go bad, and I am not able to achieve the technical result I would like to, or when customers are not satisfied with our products and there’s nothing I can do about it. Also sometimes people are difficult to each other and that is not cool, but that is also part of professional life and every company.
- What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
Technical knowledge, analytical and planning skills, enthusiasm, grit, specific product knowledge, willingness to learn and seeking to learn and improve all the time.
- What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
I did a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering and then Master in Information and Communication Technologies, during which I took a wide range of electrical engineers and IT subjects, however from early on in the BSc studies anything to do with Wireless always seemed to catch my interest more than other electrical engineers topics. So, in MSc I decided to go to the ICT program that contained all Wireless topics and then for Antennas as I always lowed hardware and doing stuff with my hands than software and programming.
- What is your education to date?
My highest education is a PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences on the topic of Antennas and Propagation.
- What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
The few classes on Antennas and Propagation at MSc level, and all design and practical experience from my PhD.
- Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
I am currently taking an online training course on a software used for PCB design to complement my antenna knowledge with deeper understanding of what comes in the device after the antenna. I plan to take similar courses throughout my career to stay current with new technological developments and also with new tools that help us in day-to-day tasks.
From formal education I might take some business education, for ex. an MBA, however that will depend on my further career path and if there will be any necessity to complement my on-job acquired knowledge with formal education.
- What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
Finishing my PhD with good success, and developing a range of products for Taoglas in my first two years here, also submitting many of them as patents.
- What personal qualities do you have that help you in your career?
Willingness to learn, resilience, adaptability, knowing how to imagine myself in other person’s shoes and see the big picture, planning and diligence to execute.
- What is your dream job?
My dream job, for now, would be an engineering leadership position in which I would be able to lead and advise my team towards a successful completion of projects and launching of products.
- What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
Be ready to learn on the job, don’t worry about lack of formal classes in the area, be sure that you like this area and that is rewarding to you to accompany the progress of technology and markets in this area. Basically that it is interesting to you and that you are intrinsically motivated to work in this area, and not by prestige or salary or career opportunities. The latter are only consequences of the first. I guess this actually applies for any job anywhere .
- What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Resilience (=not giving up when difficulties come), willingness to learn, swift execution
- What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?
From less experienced to more:
Project work or a MSc/PhD Thesis in Antennas & Propagation,
Internship in any Antenna or RF company (=internsip with us ;)),
Industry experience on antennas and RF.