During my study abroad in Moscow in 2016, I was truly amazed by the country and the city in particular. Back then, my goal was to get to know another culture a little better and to see what part of the stories we know from newspapers, social media and TV, is true. “Life is bad in Russia” and “Moscow is dangerous” were just a couple of statements made by people I know. This made me think: “I have to go there and find out by myself”. A bit nervous at first, moving to another country I only heard bad stories about; a country where they speak a language unknown to me; a country in which I do not know anyone; I can now recommend everyone to do the same, I even wish I could have prolonged my first time a little. Too bad, my next adventure was about to start, I had to move to the capital of the UK. After having lived in London for some time, I knew for sure, I want to go back to Moscow. In my opinion, Moscow has so much more to offer than people expect, more than London. Being back at university in the Netherlands, taking my final classes, I had a new goal. I had to find a graduation assignment. Having no clue what topic I wanted to work on, no idea of what sort of company I wanted to work at, I came across the position Philips Russia offered in the imaging systems department, for which I applied.
Moreover, there it started again, my prejudices, mostly triggered by others, including my graduation coordinator who came with questions such as: “Do you know what to expect?” and “Are they able to support you sufficiently?” Not knowing this for sure, I just asked and got a positive answer from the company straight away. Some time passed, and there I went again, I travelled to Moscow. Although many things had changed, I was once again impressed by the always-vibrant Moscow.
Three days later I had my first day at Philips, expecting to be treated in the same way as my time in London, my expectations were not that high. Luckily, my expectations were massively surpassed by the reality called “Philips” in an extremely positive way. During my first two weeks, they had set up multiple introduction meetings for me with different departments so I could get to know the company and other employees within the company. They have offered me all the freedom and possible support I need for my graduation assignment in their amazing modern office. Next to that, they offer me all the flexibility I need, in case I am tired in the morning, I can just walk in later. In case I want to stay a little longer on one day to finish something, I can just do so. If I feel I want to sit somewhere else for once, I can just pick another desk in the office.
The flexibility is a real blessing when working in Moscow, since there is always something to do in this city, such as the late night dinners and drinks with the people I met; and if I want to relax a little, I just travel somewhere in this massive country by plane or train over the weekend.
Daan van Hugten
HAN University of Applied Sciences.