I think life is an ongoing learning experience, so I wanted to embark on a new journey in a new field. When joining NLO, I instantly felt as if I were part of a family and that hasn’t changed in the year since. I know that not all Dutch companies are the same, but at NLO there is no hierarchy. Everyone has a voice and is seen and heard.
My first year felt like a waterfall of information, in the most positive sense. It was a whole new world for me with so much to learn, but where to start? My colleagues were a great help in my transition into a patent career and getting to know the ins and outs. Interestingly, there are many similarities between the patent and academic worlds, which is why my experiences as a PhD student are helping me in my work at NLO. Indeed, I am not starting from scratch and wasting the knowledge I previously gained. Instead, I’m actually broadening my horizons now more than ever. Even though IP law is its own field, you still need the appropriate scientific background to be able to understand an invention.
The NLO Academy enabled me to directly learn from other patent attorneys and their experiences, knowledge I would otherwise have to master on my own and through books. Moreover, I have a lot of freedom to work and learn from my mistakes. In addition, I am pleased with my contribution to the social cohesion of our team in Ghent. Last year, I organised a beer tasting for my team, as beer is very popular in Belgium. It’s not all about work here at NLO; it’s also about learning from each other and having a good time.