The Frenchman Zakaria graduated as Mechatronics Engineer in September 2017 and started to work with Flanders Make immediately afterwards. “Moving to Belgium wasn’t that big a step. I already had gone to Sweden for six months within the scope of an exchange project. Besides, during one of my work placements, with the French multinational Alstom, I gained my first experiences in functional safety. I am excited now being able to continue on this compelling path.”

Zakaria, Functional Safety Engineer at Flanders Make

When Zakaria applied for a job with Flanders Make, he was above all curious about the opportunities for starters. “Fortunately, these appeared to be quite good (smiles). As a newly graduated applicant, you obviously lack experience and I searched for an employer that would give me every chance to gain this experience. And I am pleased to say that, although I am still pretty new here, I get plenty of opportunities. Within Flanders Make, I mainly check if new technology meets the prevailing functional safety standards such as specific ISO or IEC standards. Then for every user case the relevant standard depends on the specific field of application.”

“The organisation attaches a great deal of importance to permanent education. For instance, I recently got the chance, together with a colleague, to attend an international conference on safety standards in Germany. It’s great that we can increase our knowledge in this way.” 

Also the international aspect of the organisation appealed to Zakaria. “I find it very fascinating to work in such a diverse organisation. Ironically though, my team, apart from me, only consists of Flemish people but I think they will agree with me that I am well integrated. Professionally, this has been a bit easier than in my private life. Flanders Make monitors new employees from close by so that you can always turn to someone whenever you have questions. They take good care of you here. Privately, I notice that the Dutch language is holding me back. But it is a good thing that through Flanders Make we are now given the chance to follow Dutch language lessons. I hope to benefit from this beyond working hours as well.”