An enormous head start on Master's graduates

ir. Gertjan Schouten PDEng, Alumnus, alumnus

ir. Gertjan Schouten PDEng, TASS Technology Solutions, Team leader ASML. ST Graduate 1996. Chairman XOOTIC alumni association.

‘Having completed my two-year Software Technology (ST) designer program in 1996, I felt ready to take on the job of technological designer in industry. The first year of my ST studies in 1994 involved a broad package of content: not just computer science, but also electrical engineering, physics and management. You take courses like technical writing and editing and you engage in discussions with people from industry. You work on challenging cases with a multidisciplinary team, looking at a problem from a range of angles. In the second year you put your knowledge into practice with a traineeship at a company. In my case that was Philips TASS (currently known as TASS Technology Solutions), where I spent my nine months working on the development of a standalone multimedia player.

I stayed on at TASS after gaining my PDEng degree, with responsibility for various projects in the field of software development. I now work at ASML as a team leader of a cluster that is responsible for software that keeps the central computer in the ASML machines running. A key aspect of this job is to coach people. It’s largely the interaction – working with a team to solve a problem – that appeals to me.

As a PDEng you have an enormous head start on Master’s graduates. As a technological designer you have experience with project-based and multidisciplinary work, something that really interests employers in the technology sector. I’m still active for ST. As chairman of the XOOTIC alumni association I am the face of the association. Within ASML, too, I’m involved in defining design projects for trainees from ST. This means that I am still virtually part of the designer program.’