Tag Archives: International

Unique experience

Being an employee at the HTC and why you should apply

Unique experience

If you choose to apply for Philips, you can accept that it’s going to be a rather different experience than that of your fellow course mates on placement in the U.K. That not to say it’s a benefit or a disadvantage, just different!

For one it’s likely that several of you who applied will be invited to work at the HTC. I even worked on a project with another course mate, so not every aspect of the placement will be new and you’ll have people to relate to and share the experience with. Personally, I found this an advantage as our year is really close and everyone who went to Eindhoven got along really well, none of us lived alone and we often went to events together. This was also useful for keeping on top of university work and the admin involved with living abroad, having others around you with the same deadlines.

Other things you may find different are that you may just be in a small office with several other interns. I shared one with an Italian biomaterial graduate and two Dutch students from the Tech uni whilst three of the others were next door with a Canadian and Dutch student. It’s a highly international company and I’ve made some great friends from it, I’m even visiting a friend now living in Zurich and another in Rome, both people from Philips, so my options to travel have expanded!

I also found that, although in separate offices, all of us were quite well connected with the supervisors and experts within the Department. At the beginning of the placement we were required to do a small introduction slide about ourselves to the Department and then a full presentation of our work at the end. A department BBQ was held in the courtyard of our work building one evening, and another time several of us went for drinks in town. My supervisor, Steve, was also in a band who covered rock songs and he invited us to several of his gigs which we attended.

The labs we used lined the external perimeter of the building so weren’t incredibly large and most of our projects required access to several of them, which would be different to working in a foundry. Additionally, you may find the work at Philips based more on initial innovative research than other company placements that focus on improving and developed existing systems. But this could mean that you’ll be working towards a new patent – in fact the companies on the campus together make up 40% of all dutch patent applications.

Of course a major difference it that you’ll be living abroad! The Netherlands is such a great place to do this as a flight from Eindhoven to Stansted can cost as little as £13 so visits home aren’t a major inconvenience. You have the option of 5 days off (a day for each month) and I utilised these to explore several cities in the Netherlands and surrounding Europe. So you may find your weekends are busier than your friends, but also there’s cheaper wine and great beer to be drank in the evenings and all the cycling you do too! I really enjoyed having a new cultural experience alongside the work.

Location, location, location

Culture and Life

Location, location, location

Being able to live in continental Europe gives you great opportunities for quicker and cheaper travelling around European countries. Here’s a list of some of the countries and cities, you may want to visit;

  • Belgium: Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels, Liege, Achelse Kluis (brewery 1hour cycle from Eindhoven)
  • Germany: Dusseldorf, Cologne, Aachen
  • France: Paris (Disneyland)
  • Netherlands:
    • Keukenhof – Tulip flower festival usually finishes after your first weekend in NL. Be careful you don’t miss out!
    • Amsterdam – Canals, nightlife, Gay Pride fortnight (boat parade), zoo, Heineken Experience, Van Gogh Museum, Cat boat
    • The Hague – Parliament,  Peace Palace, Beach, Madurodam (miniature models of NL)
    • Rotterdam – Cubic Houses, Erasmusbrug, harbour, De Marktha
    • Utrecht – Canoeing, Shopping, Dom Tower, Cathedral of St. Martin
    • S’ Hertogenbosch – St. John’s Cathedral, Try the local Bossche bol cake.
    • Maastricht – Castle walls, Try limburgse vlaai
    • Apeldoorn – Apenheul Monkey Park
    • Arnhem – Hoge Veluwe National Park

For Travelling to these places you may want to check out: www.spoordeelwinkel.nl which offers day trip train ticket and lunch deals. I’d also recommend you checking coach services and Bla Bla cars which are very popular in Europe on: www.busradar.com. I often travelled with ‘FLix Bus’ but be aware delays often occur around Antwerp. Also note that the coach pick-up point is the other side of the train station to the bus station (the train station has entrances at both ends).

At the end of our placement, my friend and I decided to take several days to cycle from city-to-city up from Eindhoven to Amsterdam. Our route was: Eindhoven-Tilburg-Breda-Dordrecht-Kinderdijk-Gouda-Leiden-Haarlem via the coast-Zaandam-Edam-Volendam-Amsterdam.

This was a really lovely trip as there were cycle paths between all cities so we never had to cycle on the road and didn’t even wear helmets. It was great to see the varying countryside and architecture travelling north, with wildlife, canals, farm animals and lots of cheese!

For accommodation try
●    Couch-surfing app – free
●    Airbnb
●    Deals on hotels
●    Hostels

You’ll probably need to book a hotel or Airbnb for your first night in Eindhoven as most letting agencies are only open Mon-Fri. Let my supervisor know I could only make it in for 10am on my first day so I could pick up the house keys beforehand.