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Maaike Fleskens

Maaike talks about her job

Formalities officer
What has really struck me from the outset with NLO was how interested the people here were in me as a person, not just in my work experience. I really appreciate the personal approach that’s taken at NLO. It's very people-orientated and although the organisation gets bigger each year, you’re not just a number. NLO doesn't just look at you as an employee, it sees you as an individual. Submitting patents, client interaction and managing patent terms are all part of my job, and I find it fascinating.

When I was training to be a translator and interpreter, I learned a bit about the law and it immediately interested me. I joined a temporary employment agency, and they placed me with a patent agency. My point is that it doesn't matter what kind of background you have. What is important is that you enjoy discovering new things and that you’re keen to know more about patent law. If that sounds like you, then I’d say: 'Go for it!' You’ll learn as you work and gradually gain a thorough knowledge of the profession. You’ll also be trained to become a Formalities Officer, and then everything will start to fall into place. I admit it took some time to get used to being back in school, but pairing schooling with your evolving work experience can make all the difference.

NLO doesn’t just look at you as an employee but also at the person behind the job.

I love the extensive variety in my job. No day is the same and you’re never made to do robotic, routine stuff. One minute you’ll be working alone on your own tasks and the next you’ll be going through piles of work as part of a team. I really enjoy working with others on a shared goal. It’s this that’s helped me find my feet so quickly. After just a month, I felt as though I'd been here for years. It's almost like being at home!