15 november 2023

Mees was looking for ‘chaotic’ work, but ‘not the panic’

Breaking your foot right after an interview with a potential employer. It doesn't happen to many people, but Mees Somers was the unlucky one it did happen to after an interview with ENTER. The expectation was that it would take a little longer for him to find a project as a result, but nothing could be further from the truth. Business Manager Dirk drove Mees back and forth to interviews with potential clients and within no time Mees had a challenging project on his hands. He laughingly explains, "I was already happy to have found work when I broke my foot, but it was also what I was looking for!"

Mees has been working at a large company within the Brainport on the Vessel program since April. This is a module that generates light for a machine within the semiconductor industry. There, Mees actually serves as a kind of support for the production team. He explains: "You have to see it as a big block of aluminum with a tin drop in it and wehn you shoot a laser at it and light is generated. Very simply put." In this, Mees is responsible for the quality of all the mechanical parts of the machine. "It's very diverse and starts with the question: how are we going to adjust certain things? All the way to: how are we going to solve a small problem like a bolt that doesn't fit?”

Mees was also looking for that variety in his work. "I was looking for something where I don't know what I'm going to be doing the next week. I wanted the chaotic, but not the panick. With my current project, for example, I'm working on administration and then something else comes in with a higher priority like stains or a scratch, and then I have to work on that and when that's finished, I move on to the previous one again. And those tasks are very diverse."

Mees Somers

Before this, Mees worked as a workshop manager at a small robotics company focusing on mobile robotics. After a while, Mees noticed he was out of place there. "It's a very interesting industry, but I noticed that the company was still too young for me," he said. The change he made by switching jobs, he is already very happy with. "Since I started working at ENTER, I notice that I am much more enthusiastic in conversations with family and friends about my work. When they ask what I am working on, I like to tell them and I am also very proud of what I make. And the reactions from my family and friends are also a lot nicer. Before, when I told them about my work, they would say, ‘I can buy a drone like that at the toy store. So why does yours cost €20,000 and the one from the toy store costs €50?’ In order for them to understand that difference, you have to explain the technology and then people often drop out, because they just don't understand. Now when I tell them where I work and what I do there, I get very different reactions. That is also due to the familiarity of the company, but it makes the conversations a lot more fun. For that matter, I really appreciated ENTER's thinking along as a secondment provider, the approach is really focused on you as a person.”

Before Mees began his career in the high-tech industry, he studied Mechatronics. Mees: "I knew I wanted to go into engineering, but not exactly which direction. Then you go for the broadest course in that field and in my case that was Mechatronics." After completing this course, Mees had the ambition to continue studying at HBO with the thought of learning more about the management part of the industry. He chose to study Industrial Engineering & Management at the Fontys in Eindhoven. "Only it turned out that the course was not quite what I had in mind. Especially the format of the course." For Mees, there were too many overlaps with his previous education that left him with little motivation to complete the course. Coincidentally, during that period, Mees was in contact with his internship company from during his Mechatronics course who offered him a contract to lead a small project. "I accepted and quit the study," he said.

"I just want to do what I love"

Mees Somers

He certainly does not regret that. Mees says, "For example, if someone comes to you with a problem and you solve it and they are really happy... Then I do what I was hired to do and I do it well. So I think that comes down to a bit of acknowledgement of your work."

Mees' biggest challenge until now is coming up - responsibility for a new machine. "A customer of ours is going to launch a new machine and they want to make me the person responsible for the mechanical parts of that machine. The person who was actually meant for that is going to another team and they recommended me as a worthy successor. So that's a nice compliment." It's a challenge Mees is eager to take on. "You have to make sure with a project like this that everything is set up properly from the beginning before we scale up to a volume project. Now it's mainly a matter of: how are we going to do this right? But then again, there are ten people around you to whom you can ask questions. So it is a challenge but I have a lot of confidence in it!"

What makes Mees' heart beat faster? "Getting satisfaction from the things you do. That's in my work, immediate satisfaction from people being happy. But also at home when I come in and the lights immediately turn on. Domotica is a hobby of mine. When my alarm clock rings, my coffee maker jumps on, for example. The first few times it did go wrong, because there was no cup under it and then I had to mop, which made me come in later at work. Whereas the intention was that this would allow me to get to work earlier. So now I have set up the system so that when my alarm clock rings my coffee maker will only run if there is a cup underneath. I like doing things like that. I also automated my blinds. So when I'm watching television in the evening, the blinds go down. And when my alarm clock rings, they automatically go up a little bit so that some daylight comes in. At this time of year thought, that's a little disappointing”, he adds laughingly.