The great thing about my job is that I work in all parts of product development.
When Patrick began his career five years ago, variety and diversity were particularly important to him. And that's precisely what he got – as a development engineer in R&D Optics/Mechanics in the Medical Technology business group at ZEISS. Read on to find out exactly what that means to him.
One thing was clear for Patrick when he was applying for jobs: he was looking for a position with a lot of variety at a company that offered him opportunities to grow. While studying electrical engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt, he discovered he had an interest in medical technology, making ZEISS a potential employer. Not only did Patrick find the company itself compelling, he was also intrigued by the sheer breadth of its business spectrum.
Patrick has been working as a development engineer at ZEISS Medical Technology for five years. As a sub-project manager for microscope suspension systems, he is the team member responsible for ophthalmology: he works with his team to develop the suspension systems used in ophthalmology. Patrick explains: "The great thing about my job is that I work in all parts of product development. This means that I'm involved at every stage of the life cycle, from coming up with ideas and product generation to the product launch and the approval process, all the way to providing initial customer support."
As you might expect, Patrick's workday is multifaceted and interdisciplinary: steering and coordinating with different internal and external interfaces makes up a large part of his job. Internally, Patrick mostly works with colleagues from Development, Technology, Quality Management, Manufacturing, Regulatory Affairs and Service.
Along with discussing ideas and technical issues, his average workday involves writing and verifying specifications, drafting plans as well as taking care of approval documentation and test reports. Some problems are solved in creativity workshops, whereas others require a more hands-on approach: "If the production line stops, I have a look myself and try to help."
The lure of on-the-job training
Patrick emphasizes that this diversity and real-life training are just what he enjoys: "It's fascinating for me to witness the entire product life cycle: from the very first idea to the start of product development and generation, including all the challenges that emerge at different interfaces or with colleagues from other departments." He also receives customer feedback directly from the team’s product manager. Every now and then he even watches an operation live and sees the products in use.
Sharing things – not just on a technical but also on a personal level – is another big plus for Patrick: collaboration and mutual support are very important. This enabled his team to get their last product on the market in a very short period of time: "It was a tremendous success and a really great team performance, particularly because the product has been so successful. This makes work fun!"
Development Engineer, R&D Optics/Mechanics, Carl Zeiss Meditec AG
Electrical Engineering, spcializing in microtechnoogy and precision engineering at the Technical University of Darmstadt
What he wishes he had known as a student
Just how many different opportunities for personal development you have at a global company like ZEISS after completing a focused degree.