Series: A Day in the Life of an NCG – Austria

January 12, 2015
Life at Lam

Next up in this series is a glimpse into the work lives of our new college graduate (NCG) employees in the Lam Research office in Villach, Austria.

At Lam Research, we are committed to helping bright, enthusiastic NCGs transition to successful and rewarding careers in the workplace. Now in their first jobs after graduating, NCGs working at Lam are truly enjoying their new positions. We caught up with a few of these busy grads to chat with them about their experiences and what they’re learning—and we’re glad we did. In addition to providing insightful workplace perspectives, their stories highlight the importance of decisions they made while in school and during their first jobs following graduation.

Below, three NCGs working at Lam’s Villach, Austria, campus share their experiences: a product safety engineer (Blaz, master’s degree in chemical engineering, University of Maribor, Slovenia), a process engineer (Julia, Ph.D. in physical chemistry, University of Göttingen, Germany), and a mechanical engineer (Michael, master’s degree in mechanical engineering, Stanford University).


What is a typical day at work like?

In my job as a product safety engineer, I approve new chemicals for our products and help document procedures. As such, I spend most of my time working at my desk reviewing documentation, writing reports, etc. I also attend a number of meetings each week, including engineering discussions to resolve specific issues, new design reviews, and a variety of cross-functional team updates. – Blaz

A big part of my job is testing new process recipes on Lam’s wafer cleaning systems. I take measurements on the processed wafers using a variety of metrology tools, then analyze the results to assess the success of a process and how to proceed. Depending on the project, I work alone or in a small group. We communicate frequently to discuss progress on projects and next steps. – Julia

I perform most of my work at my desk, developing concepts, modeling, and documenting designs. The rest of the time, I am testing prototypes in the lab, attending meetings, or brainstorming with other engineers. – Michael


How do you like your job and the work you are doing?

I like working as an engineer and helping my team solve problems relating to product safety. – Blaz

The exciting thing about my job is that no day is like the day before. The work is diverse, and every day offers a new situation, where I can grow and learn. – Julia

I enjoy that I have design control while getting to interact with others and be inspired. I need and value cross-functional input. I also like going to lunch and coffee every day with my colleagues; coffee is a big thing here in Austria. –Michael


Is your job and the workplace what you expected?

I would never have imagined the extent of new knowledge I would gain within a short time and how immediately I could apply it to my work. – Julia


What helped you transition to the workplace?

Although I am still in the process of transitioning, internal training provided by Lam has helped a lot, and I have attended external training that was very relevant for my position. Working with experienced engineers in my department is also helping me gain important knowledge and experience. – Blaz

During my Ph.D. thesis, I learned how to work with complex machines and extract the core information out of a huge amount of data—and to organize and prioritize my tasks when I have a lot to do. Applying that learning helps me on my job now. The training that Lam provided has also helped a lot, as did having a buddy to answer my questions so I could jump right into the “real” job from the very first day. – Julia

During summer breaks, I had interned in Silicon Valley and Shanghai. Working, living, and attending schools in different places helped me become more adaptable and open-minded. Lam has helped me tremendously with assimilating into the European way of work and life. My colleagues and manager are very supportive and fun people. All of them are my mentors and buddies. It is pretty great. – Michael


Why did you choose Lam Research?

I wanted to work in the semiconductor manufacturing business because I buy products made by our customers, and I want to know about them. This job helps me understand how the industry works. – Blaz

I had applied for positions in the optics and automobile industry, but once I saw Lam’s Villach campus and met the people here, I knew this was the place where I wanted to live and work. – Julia

I chose Lam because I believed I could contribute to product design and achieve significant personal and professional growth in this industry. Also, the Villach location was very attractive to me. I love adventures and living in foreign countries and always wanted to come to Europe. This is the perfect opportunity to experience a new environment and lifestyle—and learn a third language. – Michael


What do you like about working at Lam?

What I really like is the balance between support and challenge, which is just what you need when you begin a new field of work. I also have many nice, helpful colleagues answering my questions and involving me in their projects to help me grow. – Julia

The interaction with my colleagues is what I enjoy the most. It’s how I learn, and I love learning. Lam Research Austria suits my interests particularly well in this respect because of both its location and function. – Michael


What advice might you offer other recent graduates on transitioning to the workplace?

Trust the HR training system. It will help you integrate into your team. Work closely with your colleagues, and don’t be afraid to ask what may seem like dumb questions. – Blaz

An internship is a good way to get a feel for want you may want to do once you leave school. – Julia

Embrace new environments, people, and challenges. Interact with colleagues and learn from their experiences. – Michael


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To learn more about NCG opportunities at Lam, please visit the College Programs section of our website.



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