ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 21,000 people.
Getting the most out of a system means looking at the customer's manufacturing process as a whole. To do that, I need to know the ins and outs of this process. You need strong technical skills to handle the data obtained from the customer's manufacturing process, and strong personal skills to build trust with the customer so they feel comfortable sharing the data with you.
I work with customers in both Europe and Asia. You have to adapt your way of working for different customers and you also have to be sensitive to the different cultures of the two regions. Cultural differences relate for example to the levels of hierarchy (more so in Asia than in Europe), but also to the way of working in itself, for instance with respect to working according to time schedules (tighter in Asia than in Europe). Having that mix of customers makes for a nice change of pace.
My own background is really helpful in dealing with so many different people. I did my first degree in India before moving to Europe to do a Masters, which was split between Belgium and Sweden.
It was during my time in Belgium, studying in a group associated with IMEC, that I first came across ASML. I knew it was a technology leader in its field, and was attracted by the chance to work on many different disciplines.
It's a very challenging environment that stretches you, and you are really pushed but in a positive way. Also, as a medium-sized company, it gives you more chance to develop your career quickly. I've been here two years now, and my level of responsibility has increased dramatically. That's another good thing about my job. I have a lot of control over what I do - my manager isn't constantly looking over my shoulder.