Title: Clinical Analytics Software Engineer, Patient Monitoring
Years at Philips: 3 years
Office Location: Andover, MA
Attended School: UCONN, MS & BS in Biomedical Engineering
Big company or start-up? I find a lot of my friends ask themselves this question when they are looking to either start their career or make their next move. Working for either a big corporation or a startup is a personal decision that should be made based on which will provide the right foundation for learning and which will open more career opportunities in the future. Recently, friends I’ve graduated with and other young professionals seem to be more attracted to startups and sure, I understand it’s kind of cool to work in a small dynamic work environment, however I decided to join a big corporation for these 6 main reasons.
1. "T-Shaped" Skills
Working for a big corporation allows an individual to develop valuable "T-shaped" skills. These skills allow for specialization and depth of related skills and expertise in an area of work, technology, or process. It also provides broad exposure and the ability to learn from and collaborate with experts from other disciplines such as technology, business, development, and project management. At a startup you generally wear many hats, increasing your breadth of knowledge in other areas, but making it difficult to become an expert in any one discipline. I myself wanted to become an expert, so that I could grow into a role where I would be able to mentor and manage a team.
2. Growth Opportunities (both vertically and horizontally)
Startups generally focus on launching one product while big companies tend to foster the development of many products. This means a lot of jobs, and therefore a lot of opportunities for growth. Big corporations tend to invest in individuals through education, skill development, and career assistance programs to help align an individual's personal career goals with positions they would like to work towards within the company. Not only is there exposure to other positions, but within my company I have the opportunity to learn new technologies and explore other products as well. Through Philips, I’ve taken various trainings and received professional board certifications of topics related to my current and future career trajectories, as well as some that are just of general interest to me. In 1.5 years I was promoted from a software test engineer in patient monitoring to the software test lead in analytics, and continue to look forward to thenendless opportunities on the horizon.
A big corporation is likely to have brand recognition with an existing, loyal customer base. With a strong customer base in place, the turnover time is much quicker from when you are working on either an existing application or building something new to a customer using the product. Prior to working at Philips, I worked in a hospital as a Clinical Engineer who was responsible for the equipment lifecycle and procurement of medical technology. Philips was a favorite amongst the clinical and technical staff and sparked my interest in working here. What’s exciting is that with my prior experience I get the chance to be very much entrepreneurial, pitch my ideas, and help innovate in a way that makes my individual impact so much bigger and fulfilling. Since working on our products, I got the opportunity to visit various customer sites and observe the customers interacting with technology I helped build. It is truly a rewarding experience to see what you work on day in and day out being used and making a positive impact.
4. Work-Life Balance
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is not only important for one's personal well-being, but it can also improve the efficiency of one's work performance. With a more structured and predictable work schedule, a work-life balance is easier to maintain in a big corporation rather than at a startup where the hours are less structured which can mean odd hours, late nights, and working on weekends. Most days when I leave work, work stays at work, and I am able to enjoy weekday outings in Boston with friends and weekend hiking and beach getaways stress-free!
As with starting any new job, or new position within a company there is sure to be a learning curve. Therefore, having experienced mentors allows for getting up to speed and feeling like a valuable, contributing player quicker thus being able to take well-informed action. This is yet another benefit of working for a big corporation.
There is no denying the lure of a great benefits package and corporate perks. From health insurance, 401K,paid vacation/sick time, performance bonuses, tuition assistance and stock purchase programs to company picnics, outdoor activities, discounts, and fitness classes, big corporations can offer long-term financial stability, peace of mind, and an atmosphere that fosters good employee relations. While startups generally may not be able to offer such benefits, they tend to offer more perks and employees might reap the rewards of success if the company does well.
Are you trying to decide on which career move you want to make next? I encourage you to check out Philips to see the variety of open positions we currently have, visit www.philips.com/softwarecareers