Career development: finding and grabbing opportunities to grow
Every career is different. The career path of Bart van Loenen, employeneur at TMC Nanotechnology, is one of constantly finding and grabbing opportunities to grow. Bart started studying chemical technology in ‘99 at the Higher Technical School in Heerlen, but he didn’t stop there. He continued his studies in chemical technology at the Technical University in Eindhoven and specialized in Material Science, with Coating Technology as his subject and specialization of his Master thesis. But he didn’t stop there either.
Becoming a system engineer
“After my studies in 2007, I started my working career at Anteryon WaferOptics and worked on the wafer-based production of lenses. Lenses to be used, for example, in cameras in mobile phones. In the beginning I was responsible for the composition of the liquid polymer in the production process. After a couple of years I got the opportunity to grow into the role of system engineer. I got that opportunity because I solved a complex problem that actually required dealing with multiple production processes. The role also meant I got to work closely with both internal and external clients, who were all very involved in the development stages. This showcased my people skills and capabilities, and after that Anteryon asked if maybe I would like to become their system engineer. This was a great career step for me. Because of my knowledge in materials, I have a good background in all areas, but of course not as much as a specialist. That’s a good quality for a system engineer to have – to be able to ask pertinent and helpful questions of the engineer, while trusting their expertise and knowing when to give him or her space to do their thing. Being a system engineer is all about asking the right questions at the right time. During the last three of my seven years at Anteryon, I was leading an important project to accurately measure the shape of the lenses that we were producing. We wanted to know the exact shape of the produced lenses within a margin of 50 nanometres – a very interesting and challenging goal that we were able to meet by the end of the project. Anteryon is a relatively small company of about one hundred employees, and after performing these different and challenging roles it was time for me to grow and broaden my horizon somewhere else and so I started looking for a new challenge.”
“I like being challenged. I don’t actually plan my career, but I do always want to grow and develop myself. And I do like to know that I am in control of my future. I am the one who is leading my career. I came in contact with TMC and immediately liked their philosophy of Employeneurship. I made a conscious choice to work for TMC. I really like that they give you the time and opportunity to develop yourself: your hard skills and your soft skills. TMC offered me a coach to see how and where I could grow as a person. Over the coming years I want to develop myself in two areas in particular: I want to become a better specialist, and at the same time I would love to become the leader of a small team. That’s where I see possibilities for myself. And TMC is the perfect place to realize those goals.”