Preethi Pradha Elavarasu is originally from India and has worked and lived in the Brainport Eindhoven Region for three years. Preethi is a Software Test Engineer at ASML.
Preethi Pradha Elavarasu started working at ASML three years ago. She was already familiar with the Netherlands, as she had studied at the University of Technology in Delft and done a graduation assignment at Bosch. During her internship, Bosch moved from Breda to Strijp-S in Eindhoven. Inspired by the many tech companies located on campus and in the Brainport region in general, she decided to apply for jobs in this region after her graduation. She found herself a job at ASML in Hardware development.
From hardware to software development
At ASML, Preethi started in hardware development where she was mainly concerned with fixing components of the ASML lithography systems that were broken. ″However, the job was not really what I hoped for and expected to do when I applied for the position″, explains Preethi. Fortunately, her coach, a senior colleague, noticed this as well and recommended her to go into software development as her competencies would be better fitted there. Within three days, Preethi switched jobs and found herself in the software department. During the last two years, she has been part of the software test group. This group consists of five teams, each of which focus on a different field within software testing. Preethi started in the test automation team where she wrote test cases that automatically test if the software works properly. After that, she continued working on developing tests for the new EUV system of ASML. The basic tests that existed needed to be automated so that they could run during the night and weekend as well. Everything from the processing to generating and incorporating results needed to work automatically. Her team has recently accomplished this, so Preethi is now involved in the development of a new test. ″For this new test, I am looking into the EUV system and the tests we currently have so as to see if I can improve them or add new tests to overcome obstacles″, continues Preethi. For example, the system gets new features every week and only these features that are added need to be tested. This requires more intelligent tests. Her current test team exists of a multi cultural team of Dutch as well as foreign workers.
″Software development gives me more knowledge about the systems of ASML.″
What Preethi especially likes about her current job is that she is looking at the machine as a whole instead of just one little part of the machine, which was the case in hardware development. ″Through software development, I am able to generate more knowledge″, says Preethi. She was not aware of the difference between to the two fields within ASML in the beginning. In addition, when she started at ASML she received a flex contract on a project basis, which she did not really like as her position was not guaranteed. ″Therefore, I advise everyone to not just jump into it, but to do some research before you say yes to a contract.″ Fortunately, she now has a new contract as she has proven her added value to the company.
Personal development: one of the cornerstones of ASML
The main driver to join ASML was its focus on personal development and the willingness to invest in people. Preethi followed a Dutch language course and received help with the ´inburgeringscursus´ and all the paper work involved in moving to the Netherlands. Also, a mentorship programme at ASML guides new employees. The coach is a senior colleague who guides you through the first couple of months and answers all of the questions you may have. ″This was really important for me and helped me feel at ease″.
″I would recommend to everyone to learn Dutch as you can really benefit from it.″
Overcoming the language barrier
In the weekends, Preethi can either be found at a softball tournament, festival, or a wine and beer evening with her friends. She joined ASML´s softball club three years ago, which was a great way for her to meet new people. Only 50% of the members are from ASML, the others work at other companies in the region such as Philips. All of them speak Dutch thereby giving Preethi the opportunity to practice her language skills. ″I would recommend to everyone who is coming to the Netherlands to learn Dutch as you can really benefit from it. It helps you to understand jokes and to really be part of a group″, says Preethi.
″Renowned high tech companies are always looking for bright minds.″
Preethi is now pretty happy with her job and the life she built up in the Brainport Eindhoven Region. She likes living in the most innovative region of the Netherlands and would recommend everyone to try it. Especially, recent graduates are in a good position to kick start their career here as many renowned companies such as DAF, ASML, Philips, but also smaller companies, are always looking for bright minds. Besides, if you are looking for a study programme you are in the right place: the universities rank high on international rankings, are of high-quality and yet still affordable. In addition, there is a different place to hang out for every kind of person and large events such as King´s Day, GLOW and the Marathon will help you feel engaged to the region. ″Add a few words of Dutch to this and you will immediately feel at home!″