I heard about the patent field during my PhD studies, and in the back of my mind I thought a job in this area might be of interest to me. But it wasn’t until I finished my PhD and started looking for a job that I came across the offer from NLO to become a trainee patent attorney. This opportunity really appealed to me. The company seemed open to internationals, the website was in English and looked attractive. So these initial factors caught my eye, along with the fact that I was open to learning Dutch. When I visited, everyone at NLO was very welcoming and I met several friendly people during my interviews. It all fell into place here and I had a good feeling about NLO.
The first two months were a little challenging because there were so many new things to learn: the ins and outs of the job, a new environment and a new country. It’s all very different from doing research! What I really enjoy is reading about new inventions and learning so many things every day.
So far, I really like my job. I’m happy with my team and being on the cutting edge of innovation. In research I was focused on a very specific bit of material science and sometimes missed having a broader overview. I also really enjoy working in an international environment, which is what I’ve found at NLO. And I’m happy to be working for a Dutch company. Still, in taking such a position you need to be open-minded and prepared to adapt to a new country. It’s not for everyone, but if it appeals to you it, just do it!
I think in the end there’s no need to be nervous about taking the step. Your academic knowledge is never lost. It’s about making a choice of what to do with it. If you are in doubt, you can always contact me with any questions.