Interview Edmund Optics
- Please tell us your name and current title.
My name is Agnes Hübscher and I am the “Director of Marketing Europe” at Edmund Optics.
- What are your exact responsibilities at your company?
I am responsible for all of EO's marketing activities in Europe. Working in this role requires very close collaboration with our sales department and product development department. In order to establish a uniform company language on a global scale and to better facilitate common goals, I also work in very close collaboration with our marketing department at our USA headquarters as well as our marketing department in Asia.
Edmund Optics //Optics & Photonics
- Which departments in your company are related to the field of optics and photonics?
With over 29,000 products, Edmund Optics offers the largest inventory stock for optical components worldwide. We deliver both standardized and customized products to a multitude of industry sectors. At the same time, we not only see ourselves as sales people but also, above all, as consultants who have the necessary knowledge and expertise to be able to discuss application questions, feasibility problems, and new product ideas with our clients. Consequently, experts in the field of optics and photonics are in high demand for our sales team as well as for our customer service team. We also seek experts for our product development, production, and management departments. In addition to this, EO boasts a high proportion of engineers, who contribute greatly to the success of our clients. Although my background is in business with a focus on international management and marketing, even I have gathered 17 years of experience in the field of optics and photonics. This demonstrates the high value that EO places on well-grounded expert knowledge in the field.
- In which departments and for what positions are you currently looking for employees?
EO has two locations in Europe, one sales location in Karlsruhe and a sales-logistics location in Great Britain. Both of these offices are continuously seeking new colleagues, who can help strengthen our team as “Solutions Engineers,” for example. It is very important that our employees either have expert knowledge in optics and photonics or a background in natural sciences, such as physics, biology or chemistry. In addition to these requirements, language skills are also essential at EO. Alone in Europe, we advise clients in 7 different languages. EO offers a global “Engineering Leadership Program,” which is coordinated at our headquarters in the USA. This program is very similar to a trainee program. Young and ambitious engineers are given the opportunity to gather experience in multiple departments in several of our international locations over the course of 2 years. After completion of the program, trainees receive placement at the most suitable location where they have the highest potential to become managers.
- What do you expect from employees in your department? What knowledge should employees bring?
As I stated before, we seek employees, who are multilingual and have expert knowledge in the fields of optics and photonics and natural sciences. For Europe, this would include language skills in German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, or Russian. We also prefer those who show interest in, or who have experience in cross-national project management, and those who are interested in working at multiple global locations. We believe that company culture is a very significant component for the success of a company. As a very young team, it is important for us that our colleagues are excited and happy about the work that they do. We expect them to be self-motivated and to easily be able to communicate with our clients.
- Are there any areas in your company where there might be a skills shortage?
It is definitely notable that the unemployment rate in Germany is very low. This is great for Germany, but this also means that it is difficult for companies to find exceptional candidates for employment. This is why it is important for us to support training and education for the experts and specialists of tomorrow. To this end, we seek to build strong relationships with students early on through collaborations with universities. Through these efforts students will have greater chances of becoming EO’s skilled specialists of tomorrow.
- In your opinion, how will the field of optics and photonics develop in the future?
As one of the “Enabling Industries,” optics and photonics plays a vital role in many branches and developments for the future. As a result, the significance of this field and demand for experts in the field will continue to increase.
- What does your application process look like?
EO posts open positions on the career page of our website, on job boards at universities, and in relevant magazines. Applications should be sent to the contact person specified on the individual job posting. We then conduct multiple interviews, including video conference calls with colleagues at our various international locations and may even arrange to have a trial work day. In addition, we are also always happy to receive initiative applications.
- What prospects does someone have as an employee at Edmund Optics?
Edmund Optics knows that the success of a company depends on is employees. This is why we always seek to offer attractive opportunities to those who show high potential. This could be an expansion of area of responsibility, an interexchange or change to one of our abroad locations, as well as the transfer of new tasks and responsibilities. However, we also believe that an employee’s strengths and interests can also be reflected through work performance within the range of responsibilities of his or her current position.
- Why is Edmund Optics an attractive company for international specialized job seekers?
Edmund Optics has demonstrated impressive growth. Its current headquarters is in the USA and the company itself is active worldwide. Our day to day business requires teamwork with cross-national colleagues and customer support for our international clients. This means that international affinity and international orientation are indispensable qualities for our employees.
Cooperation with the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics
- In your opinion, what are the advantages of cooperation with the Karlsruhe School of Optics & Photonics?
Collaborations with universities are most meaningful for EO for several reasons, but above all for the search for professionals and experts. The close connection with future professionals and their research projects allows us to have a better understanding of future trends and helps us tremendously when developing our product portfolios and business strategies. EO offers a multitude of programs for universities and start-ups, such as the EO Educational Award for research projects, in which winners receive prizes valued at 7000 €. We also offer universities discounts on our products and support ambitious young companies through our StartUp Program. Our strengths also include, support with asset value, such as consultation and products for research projects at universities or support in laboratory equipment layout. This is how we connect with universities from the beginning and stay in contact with the makers of tomorrow. The cooperation with KSOP is especially fitting for us, not only because of its close proximity to our offices but also because of KSOP’s close collaborations with associations such as, SPIE or OSA, associations with which EO is already in close connection with.
- What experiences have you had with students/graduates of KSOP?
One of our solutions engineers is a Ph. D. student at KSOP. He has proven to be one of the most essential members of our team. We would be very excited to gain more colleagues like him.
- What would you like to share with students and graduates of KSOP, who are interested in your company?
You can frequently find open positions on our website: http://www.edmundoptics.de/company/careers/. I would also like to encourage students to take advantage of our programs, awards, and university discounts. Interested students are also welcome to contact us directly at: info∂edmundoptics.de.