He had just finished his bachelor’s degree in engineering when Koen Brinker got the opportunity to start working at Ophtec. “A rookie”, Koen laughs, “who still had to learn and discover everything. But that is the beauty of it: I was given all the space I needed to do that. By now, the production engineer has already worked at Ophtec for one year, and he looks forward to what is yet to come. “A year that leaves me wanting more.
It was a friend of his father’s who pointed out a vacancy at Ophtec. “At the time they were looking for an operator – a position that actually required an educational level below mine,” Koen says. “Yet, it just seemed like a great company, so I decided to give it a shot.” It clicked right away and for a moment it looked like he had found his job. “Unfortunately, they were afraid that I would get bored,” Koen says. “So, they decided to look for another position, or maybe even create one for me.” This search eventually ground to a halt when it turned out not to be possible. They parted ways and Koen found a new job. Until all of a sudden, the phone rang. There was a vacancy for an engineer, and they wanted to discuss this with me before they would start recruiting. Apparently, they had remembered me.”
“Attention to people is typical of Ophtec,” Koen says. “You are not a number, you really matter.” In the Summer of 2021, he started work at his new workplace. His first project? The development of a new measuring method: “Quite exciting”, Koen admits. “During your studies you are overloaded with theory, but what do you actually know? I still had to discover everything.” Fortunately, Koen was given every opportunity to do so. “A colleague said, ‘No matter how much experience you have, no one has all the answers. Just test it, try it. You learn most from your mistakes.” So, Koen took a leap of faith. “And I still do from time to time: I continue to learn and develop myself every day.”
Together with a few fellow engineers, Koen works in the production department where he is involved in a variety of projects. “If you have a technical background, you can work anywhere these days. Companies are lining up for you. However, the great thing about Ophtec is that you are actually doing something good, something of value. The products we make help others.” What makes his work at Ophtec so great, according to Koen, are the people. “It is, of course, traditionally a family business and that feeling is still there. A personal, open and involved character: everyone matters, regardless of position, background, or age.”
Recently, the platform ‘Young Ophtec’ was established, in which Koen is also involved. Its purpose? To retain young people already working at Ophtec and attract new young people. “We are such a beautiful company with so many opportunities. We should highlight that a bit more within Ophtec and also outside the company,” Koen says. “When you see your colleagues more often than your friends and family, your work just needs to be fun and challenging.” If we ask Koen, there is no shortage of challenges and fun at Ophtec. “I will be here for a while!”