How long have you been working at Genexis and what does your job entail?
I’ve been working at Genexis for 2 years now. Like my job title, I work as a design engineer for 32 hours a week. In product development, we usually start sketching new concepts if there are new ideas from the market, sales, or customers. After concept development, we move forward to mechanical design, which includes measuring, testing, and engineering, together with our suppliers globally. Eventually, we evaluate the outcome by conducting production trials and assessing visual and mechanical quality. In the end, the product can be put on the market. It can take a year for a large product to be launched. Usually, I do 2 to 4 projects at the same time and support the projects of my colleagues.
Apart from product development, I also lead the sustainability group for 8 hours every week. By having biweekly meetings and discussing all relevant topics, our aim is to help the organization make the right choices to move toward a more sustainable business.
What’s one thing that surprised you about your current role?
For design engineering, I didn’t have too much technical knowledge from my education in things like mode creation and tool building. After learning a lot about this, I now see more correlation between designing and engineering.
For sustainability, I could quickly accelerate my workload from 2 hours every week to eventually 8 hours today. We are putting more and more effort into sustainability after seeing growing demand and industry awareness.
How have you grown professionally compared to when you first joined?
This is my first real full-time job, so I had many things to learn. In the first year, I felt more dependent on my colleagues in terms of understanding products, issues, and solutions. But now, after two years, I feel more responsible and confident about my projects. I still ask for my colleagues’ opinions, but I no longer feel that I rely on their input like I did in my first year.
How would you describe a typical working day for you?
My working day usually starts very early, at 7.30 am, which is nice because I have more time to collaborate with global suppliers (time difference). During the day, I usually have some internal meetings with my fellow designers, with the marketing and/or sales departments. And the rest of the day, I have focused hours to get the work done. I could review documents from suppliers, such as 3D drawings, and/or sketch new concepts for new products.
What advice would you provide to new graduates who are interested in your field?
Ask a lot of questions and be interested in all departments. Because as a designer, you need to be open and look around for all information. Also, dare to challenge. For example, suppliers may have different perspectives about the product we want to have. If they say something you don’t agree with, you need to speak up your mind and find good alternatives. You need to hold on to your concept design and protect your products as if they were your children.