“In my first year, I was speaking English every day for the first time and it really made my language skills improve, fast. You’re working alongside people from so many different, interesting places so you don’t just learn about their language, you learn about their world.”
Mike de Bruijn is curious and affable social media manager working in health systems at Philips in Best, focusing on the Diagnostic Imaging and Image Guided Therapy business groups. For his Life @ Philips Insta-takeover, he’s keen to share his passion for the innovations he gets to work on and explain why he enjoys the breadth, diversity and difference – but also the flexibility - his role gives him.
I started as an intern at Philips. After 1 week I felt so comfortable I didn’t want to leave but I knew I had to finish my thesis. I used my Philips network to get back in!
“When I was studying [my BSc in Communications at The Hague University of Applied Sciences] I got an internship, working in the Brand, Communication and Digital team as a social media community manager, creating, publishing and tracking social media posts, at Philips Benelux. As soon as I arrived, it felt right. After about three years I felt I had to leave to complete my thesis so when I graduated in 2016, I used my Philips network to get a foot in the door and have some interviews. A former colleague reached out to me as well. That’s one of the great things about working here – relationships matter and people want to help you get on and do well.”
We have such a range of skills here and I love the fact that there’s so many subject matter experts. So much knowledge for me to share using my communication skills. I can ask all the questions all sorts of people might want to know. I get to share the passion.
“We’re one Philips and the company is packed with all this amazing knowledge inside a big health tech organisation. IGT product engineers, clinical marketing specialists; all sorts of people passionate about specific things. I’m absolutely not a clinical expert, my skills are in communications but put the two together – clinical + communications - and you get something great. I can ask all the questions I need in order to create the social media content and storytelling about our products and services reach the people they need to.”
One of the campaigns I’m currently working on is #TheNextMRWave. It’s all about the next waves of innovation in MRI. There’s so much exciting stuff happening in this area.
“We launched 3 product introductions at RSNA2017 in Chicago which was massive – so much innovation in such a specialist high end field. It’s more than that though, it’s about encouraging a mind shift to unlock the potential of MR and how it can help patients and professionals. It’s exciting, big thinking and doing.”
Working with so many smart, nice people from different countries means you learn so much – about work but also life.
“Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Best, the offices all have their own feel and style despite being Philips. And the breadth and diversity are really interesting. In my current position, I was speaking English every day for the first time and it really made my language skills improve and you’re working alongside people from so many different, interesting places so you don’t just learn about their language, you learn about their world. My colleague from the Ukraine would tell me stories about her home but also Moscow. I’ve made lots of friends here; younger, older. The mix is great.”
It sounds very techy but it’s fascinating to see the innovations, the case-studies, the customers we’re helping. It gives you a really good feeling and makes you want to do even more.
“I’d say 99% of people feel the same. There’s a sense of pride. The other week I had an onboarding at the Customer Visitor Center – such an amazing place – and it was great to get up close and personal with products like Azurion. That’s the new but there’s also all this history where Philips is in the details. You go to Eindhoven and there’s De Strijp, there’s PSV, there’s the Philips Museum. It’s cool.”
I work hard but it’s something I want to do. There are long hours but there’s also a lot of flexibility. It’s a place where you’re treated maturely and expected to you run your own schedule. I think because you’re believed to be working hard and doing your best, you respond. The culture builds the commitment.
“If I work until 9pm, I might not start until 10am the next day. There’s no presenteeism culture and the flexibility really exists. I live in Rotterdam and I work in Best. Twice a month I’ll be at the office in Amsterdam and Fridays I work from home. If I have a load of calls, I’ll also work from home. It’s all OK. There’s a respect for what you do but also that you have a life. I have a young daughter. I get to see her, I get to play soccer and I get to do a job I like in a great company. It’s a good balance.”