Mentors online showcase

by Hello Mentor

The Mentors’ Showcase: a thought-provoking event

A week ago, we hosted a very informative event for both mentors and mentees taking part in the Hello Mentor x Brainport Development program. The Mentor Showcase Event was the second meet-up since the kick-off. The Hello Mentor x Brainport Development program aims to retain international talent in the Brainport region by pairing them with skilled professionals working at ASML, Sendcloud, Fourtress, Itility, and Taktify.

The five speakers, mentors from the participating companies, shed light on their unique stories and career paths that brought these professionals to become mentors – and to help students build their careers.

Martijn Sanders

“We spend a lot of time at our job – make it fun, and choose what you are the most successful in!”

Martijn Sanders, Recruitment Consultant at Itility

After getting an MSc in Strategic Marketing, the mentor and recruitment consultant Martijn Sanders was far from knowing exactly what he wanted to do in his future. “I started working in a startup, where I was the jack of all trades, with the main personal goal of really understanding what I liked the most.” Four years later, Itility approached him and offered him a job in IT project management. From that moment on, he took on different tasks at the company, until becoming a recruitment consultant. This is where his career came full circle. From studying consumer psychology and marketing for his MSc, to actually applying this knowledge and insight – combined with his experience working as an IT consultant – as a recruiter during the recruitment process and campaigns he needs to roll out for Itility!

“Strive to become T-shaped, and always level up as a professional.”

Evgeny Sharypin, Software Developer Manager at SendCloud

Evgeny was the second speaker at the event. Born and raised in Russia, he is now a Software Developer Manager at SendCloud. As Evgeny notes, nowadays it is crucial not to be afraid of trying out new things. Being T-shaped―i.e., having both deep-discipline expertise, as well as cross-discipline expertise will really help you develop as a professional. 

Evgeny also talked to us about the importance of what he defines as the “Iron triangle”―a combination of three factors that help you excel in your career: soft skills, hard skills, and timing. “With experience, you can sense the right timing” – says Evgeny. He further adds not to beat yourself up for achieving less than expected, despite having worked hard on your skills. The right timing will come!

“Share insights on challenges that you encountered and that people may face in the future. Help them with your experience!”

Mozhde Aliakbari, CTO and co-founder at Taktify
Mozhde Aliakbari

Mozhde Aliakbari is CTO and co-founder of Taktify and a great example of a female international entrepreneur in the tech sector. As she notes, even if things are changing, the environment for female entrepreneurs is not always accommodating. It’s not just about the products you’re creating, you also need to gain more trust in the investor community than a male founder. Whenever you’re starting a new journey, “you need to gain all the knowledge by yourself. This is what made me willing to become a mentor. Sharing knowledge with others”. Mozhde also stressed the importance of finding a good environment that she luckily found in the Netherlands. Finally, she noted the importance of “leveraging soft skills like leadership and management” ―given that these skills are the key to being successful in the working environment, especially in startups.

“Build upon your skills-your job title can change rapidly in the next few years”: No building can stand without great foundations.

Terry Louwers, Senior System Design Engineer at Fourtress

Terry is a senior system design engineer at Fourtress. In his career, he has gone through different job positions and companies. He really knows the role that the cultural environment plays in career development – and that you need to be aware of various cultures inside a company, especially in an international work environment. 
By not having a crystal-clear image of what he wanted to do, Terry tried out different journeys and eventually found his own career path. “Get to know what you are good at doing, and develop your skills accordingly. Also, understand your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace!”

Ege Gurtan

“If you like building stuff and you are really into tech, learn good programming skills to get there!”

Ege Gurtan, Design Engineer at ASML

A design engineer at ASML with a twist between his study and career path. Ege went from physics at his BSc and nanotechnology during his MSc to a full-time design engineer. He worked remotely for ASML’s American branch based in Silicon Valley. Having understood the importance of hard skills in the workplace, he taught himself how to code all while doing his internship and further developing his career.

With these great pieces of advice, we really want to thank the speakers – and all the mentors – who are taking this beautiful journey with us. 

We look forward to the next events that we’ll host together with Brainport Development in the program – stay tuned for great upcoming news!

Follow your dreams, develop your soft and hard skills, and always take into account others.

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