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Product Engineer Nicolas

Finding a job in the Netherlands that suits your ambitions can be a challenge. Especially if you are an expat. This was also the case for Mechanical Engineer Nicolas. Born and raised in France he wanted to find a job in the Netherlands in mechanical design or product development. Luckily for Nicolas, AKOS T-Level consultant Bram came across his profile and immediately saw his great potential. He was up for the challenge to help Nicolas.

About Engineer Nicolas

Nicolas chose to study mechanical engineering since his lifelong fascination with technology. “I immediately knew it was the right choice. I chose an in-depth study of Mechanics and Product Development,” explained Nicolas. He graduated in 2018 and has already collaborated with several product engineers, design engineers and prototyping departments. “Prototyping is one of my favorite things to do. To be able to create a 3D model from scratch to an actual part is wat really drives me. The same applies to 3D printing and more of that kind of tech stuff,” adds Nicolas enthusiastically.

Through internships and work experience Nicolas is specialized in designing precision and customer-specific mechanical product solutions. He likes to focus on tooling development, manufacturability challenges and the assembly process. “In particular, I find problem solving interesting. To understand, participate and resolve assembling difficulties.”

After gaining two years of work experience, Nicolas’ girlfriend had the opportunity to do her last study semester abroad. “That is why we started looking for possibilities to move abroad. We searched for Northern Europe countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. Eventually we picked the Netherlands since the country has the most job options for a Mechanical Engineer,” explained Nicolas.

Difficult to find a job

Nicolas started his job research while he was still in France. “Most of the companies wanted me to be in the Netherlands before they started to do anything. Of course, I wanted more certainty before I actually moved abroad,” tells Nicolas. Therefore, he struggled to find a suitable job.

Eventually Nicolas applied for an engineering position in the Industrial Projects department at engineering firm AKOS. Although AKOS Projects did not have a position available at that time, the recruitment services offered by T-Level presented different possibilities.

Nicolas adds, “T-Level was the only company willing to continue further and look beyond the challenges. Mid-July I had my first interview and towards autumn I got in touch regularly with Bram. He was the person who gave me the confidence that we would find a suitable job once I decided to move abroad.”

End of August Nicolas moved to Zwolle, a city in North of the Netherlands. “In the first weeks upon arrival I had a lot of contact with Consultant Bram to find a position as a Mechanical Engineer or Manufacturing Engineer,” explained Nicolas.
Bram adds, “Nicolas is the type of engineer that is capable to be an excellent connecter between various internal stakeholders. And that from a technical point of view! A precision mechanical or high-tech product from an innovative company would suit him well.” Nicolas had interviews at several companies and found the right fit!

Working in the Netherlands

Mid-October 2021, Nicolas started as a Product Engineer at a company that produces and distributes international heating and hot water systems. “As a Product Engineer I basically design a product from scratch to a full 3D model. The goal is to make a prototype that is not functioning. At the end we want a full specification of all the parts and then pass them to the workshop. We work closely together with the test lab as well to develop the design, make changes and try some new ideas,” explained Nicolas.

“The company is bigger than expected, but I have a great time! I like the network between all Engineers in particular. You spend most hours on your main project, but over time you work on multiple other topics to support coworkers. I think it is great because you can see different processes and technologies.” Furthermore, Nicolas mentioned that he has an update call with his manager every two weeks to catch up and make sure everything is OK. “I think it is great to have those moments with your manager. Communication is key. Especially during COVID-time,” enlightened Nicolas. “I started my job during lockdown, so it was a bit tricky to get to know people and to understand the way it works. But Bram and my manager handled it very well. Also the colleagues at the company are friendly and willing to help any time.”

Future plans

Nicolas is having a good time in the Netherlands. He started his mission already a year ago. However, Nicolas’ girlfriend recently passed her exams, so they will be moving back to France. In fact, Nicolas already signed his contract for his next job at a consultancy company. “I will work as an engineering consultant and go to different companies to support them with their projects.” He is excited to start his new adventure, but Nicolas explained “if I would not go back to France I would have stayed in the Netherlands, definitely. It is a really great place to work.”

“T-Level is the reason I found my way in the Netherlands and I am very grateful for the support throughout this journey. Also I like Bram a lot, he is a really nice guy,” tells Nicolas. “I already recommended T-Level to others. I have a friend that lives in the Netherlands for a few weeks now. When he decided to search for a technical job, I recommended T-Level to help him start. He is in contact with Bram now. I am confident that he will find a position for him as well and I am curious to see how it will develop in the future.”

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