Julia Böke | Germany

Julia Boeke Master Photonics Engineering UGent-01

Despite all the theory I learned, the programme helped me to become more confident in my skills. Some of the tasks during my master studies just seemed impossible, but in the end, we always managed to solve them as a team. This gave me great confidence towards my problem solving skills. In addition, I personally really appreciated the honest feedback of the professors, who always had our personal and professional development in mind.

Julia Sophie Boeke

Discovering working environments and practice language skills

During summer break, alumna Julia Boeke took an internship at ON Semiconductor in Mechelen, Belgium. She takes you through her summer journey:

“Within the Master of Science in Photonics, we can choose different mobility tracks to help us explore not only Belgium but also gain insights into companies and other countries. With an international internship of ten weeks, we experience new working environments and with the five weeks internship in photonics, we learn hands-on, what it is like to become an engineer in the field of light application and technology.”

“After the Photonics Summer Symposium, we have a three-month summer break. It’s the perfect time to recover from the exam periods and enjoy the summer by travelling before university starts again. With the internships in between, we can benefit from a new routine and get used to working life. We solve small challenges for the company during weekdays and collect credits for the next academic year.”

A perfect match

“During my summer break, I spent the first week visiting my family in Germany before starting my internship in the image sensor division of ON Semiconductor in Mechelen, Belgium. The company was looking forward to gaining insights into a new technology to approach clients and tackle different markets. For me, that sounded like a perfect match and opportunity to gain work experience and industry insights. While I had my project, I could consult my colleagues to discuss issues with my set-up or ways to more efficiently acquire and analyse measured data.”

“During my internship, I worked on hyperspectral imaging. That means we observe spectral changes in the reflectance of selected objects in scenery to conclude their characteristics. In my case, I found out, how this spectral change relates to the freshness of fruits and plants and how it changes in certain wavelength regions when the fruit starts to rot.”

“From my first week onwards, I was engaged in daily business life. I held several demonstrations about this technology with a co-worker towards other colleagues to get input and feedback on feasibility. We also introduced the idea and possible future applications to them. One of my highlights was definitely giving this presentation in front of the head of division and vice president.”

“This internship gave me a good opportunity, to not only learn about differences and similarities in Belgian and German working environments but also to practice my language skills. Even though I already studied Dutch since I moved to Belgium last year in September, I was still not too confident when it came to actual conversations. Although I had many international colleagues, I took the chance to practice my Dutch in a daily small talk during lunch breaks.”

“This experience did not only help me understand new technologies and how big companies approach innovations internally and externally, but it also helped me to improve my language skills to feel more at home abroad. At least, I hope that my project at ON Semiconductor is continued so that a product can be presented towards the first customers next year.”

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