Robert Brzezinski

Forging new paths in opthalmology.

My challenge at ZEISS

Robert Brzezinski, Trainee, Product Management,
Cataract & Marketing Cataract, Surgical Opthalmology

My Fascination with Medical Technology

Robert’s initial impression of ZEISS was as a successful, traditional company at home in the optics industry. After embarking on a traineeship, he also got to know and love ZEISS as a pioneer in medical technology. “This is a market that’s growing rapidly and paving the way – and I feel like I’m in the thick of it and can really make a difference,” says Robert. After completing the Global Graduate Program, he hopes to find a position working with strategic marketing for products designed to treat cataracts. This encompasses everything from diagnostic devices and lenses that are inserted in the eye through to surgical microscopes.  

Exciting insights into medicine

He’s already been able to get a good idea of what his potential future role involves: he spent the first three months of his traineeship working in the team – in fact, this is what opened his eyes to his passion for medicine. “It’s really motivating and exciting to learn about marketing and products and to find out so much about medicine at the same time. For example, I’ve had the opportunity to observe surgeons in the OR and discuss the anatomical structures of the eye – this is something that truly amazes me and gives me a sense of fulfillment,” says Robert.

Acquiring knowledge, making contacts and building networks

Further stages of the Global Graduate Program are designed to prepare trainees as much as possible for the position they’ve set their sights on. As such, it is important that they get a thorough insight into the company and are able to make contacts and build networks. As part of the second stage, Robert spent six months assisting the product manager for the ZEISS Cataract Suite, a product that uses seamlessly networked instruments to perform cataract operations. He assumed mainly project-related duties, such as the creation of a product configurator for Sales, and competitor analyses.

Before embarking on the next stage, which will see Robert travel to Australia, he will be spending the next three months working in product management, on software that will be used by doctors to treat cataracts – and he will be doing so as a full-fledged product manager! “The great thing about this is I don’t just get to observe, I also learn all about product management from the ground up,” says Robert. A new release of the software is on the agenda, meaning development work needs to be carried out. To achieve this goal, he is working closely with the software team and the different national affiliates. The requirements are being defined as we speak. The first functional prototype has already been programmed.

International character, appreciation and tradition

The lion’s share of his day-to-day work as a product manager involves discussion and coordination with colleagues, both in Germany and all over the world. They communicate primarily in English. Robert loves the international character of ZEISS. The same goes for the appreciation he has been shown: from day one, he has been able to share his suggestions and ideas at work. They have been assessed, and some of them implemented. “Alongside the inherent sense of tradition is a real desire to instill change and dynamism in the company,” says Robert. Robert has also been pleasantly surprised with and impressed by the way people approach one another: “Feedback, both positive and negative, has been given in a very constructive manner and colleagues have been pulling together to drive progress.”

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