I am Hans Elferink. I spent five memorable years in Delft, studying Electrotechnical Engineering (as it was then called) between 1972 and 1977. Computers were huge noisy machines that swallowed punched cards and talked back via black screens with green dots. Professors did not have first names (or at least, no one dared using them) and annual university fee was about € 100.
After I graduated, I spent a year and a half as an officer at the Royal Netherlands Airforce. A great time which enabled me to see how I could deploy my newly learnt skills. Thereafter, I applied for a job at Philips Telecommunications Industries. Over the years, the parent corporation of the company I worked for changed several times, always bringing new and challenging environments. We are now part of the international Thales Group, headquartered in Paris, France with a workforce in the Netherlands of some 2,000 of which about 50% is educated at Masters level. The division I work for, supplies professional electronic communications and security systems.
On paper, I am still with my first employer. Actually, that employer has constantly been evolving, changing, growing, shrinking, developing, entering new markets …. which brought me great opportunities (some of which I created myself). I traveled the world, co-operated with interesting companies and met with many inspiring colleagues.
My own role moved away from technology into the commercial world and middle management: Sales Support Engineer, Bid Manager, Business Developer, Marketing & Sales Manager, Capture Leader. These last years, I acted as Manager Contracts, Export Control and Configuration Management. In addition, and a well meant recommendation to all, I held many ‘auxiliary jobs‘ like chairman of the Works Council (‘Ondernemingsraad’), Business Ethics trainer, author of the company’s Continuity Plan (‘what to do when the company burns down?’) and co‑director of a company promotion movie.
Never be afraid to change jobs or employers, but also never hesitate to look for and create new opportunities in your existing environment. It is the fun and challenges that count, wherever they are.
Graduation year: 1977
Bachelor programme: Electrotechnical Engineering (TUD)
Master programme: Electrotechnical Engineering (TUD)
Current position: Manager Export Control & Configuration Management
Company: Thales Nederland BV - Secure Communications & Information Systems, Huizen
Previous companies: Philips Telecommunications Industries, Hollandse Signaalapparaten, Thomson CSF