Life at Philips

The more you enjoy yourself, the more you contribute

Clarissa Kiaku, MarCom Specialist, BeLux

Clarissa is one of our MarComs specialists at the Philips office in Brussels. Her positivity and pride in her work shine through and, surely, can’t help but jump off the page as she starts her Instagram takeover. It’s an opportunity she’s excited to get started on.

Here she explains how she landed her first job at Philips and why she’s loving being surrounded by great people and taking on exciting challenges:

My journey to Philips…
At Philips, the more you learn and enjoy, the more you can contribute to the company and wider society

This is my first job out of university. I work in corporate communications and also support the internal communication activities and coordinate the social media activities from the Philips office in Brussels. I started in February 2017 and it has been a fantastic first year.
“I studied Business and Marketing Management at the University of Ghent followed by a second Master in Journalism at the University of Brussels. I write a fashion and lifestyle blog called The Rewind Mag in my spare time. It’s something I really enjoy but I wanted to use my economic background, so I applied to a recruitment company and they put me forward for the role at Philips in the Brand, Communications and Digital team.”
I had a great click with my manager. It was like talking to a friend and I remember thinking, “if I can work for this woman, then it will really be great."
“My interviews went really well. It’s funny, you often hear from people working here that there is often a ‘click’ and I really felt that. I was offered another contract while I was interviewing at Philips and I turned it down because I just knew I really wanted to work here. From start to finish, the process took 2 weeks and everyone was so nice and efficient. I joined and there was a desk ready with my team and a great welcome. I’d heard friends say that starting work could be really difficult and hard to fit in, but this was so different – everyone was really nice from Day 1.”
clarissa-kiaku
I got an amazing opportunity really early on – to take 10-12 key Belgian press to our Customer Visitor Center in Best int The Netherlands.
“Not long after I’d joined, I got the chance to join our CEO and other colleagues on escorting key press to our Customer Visitor Center in Best. It’s such an inspiring place – a window onto all our health tech innovations and provided us with opportunity to really explain to our press about how we’re transforming healthcare. They’ve been more used to our consumer goods products like Senseo or they’ve seen some of the downsides from Philips in the past when we closed some factories in Belgium, so this was a chance to show them the future. It was mind-blowing and so brilliant to see how excited and inspired they were about the difference to people’s lives our innovations can make.“
I love that people are equal here and everyone talks to each other no matter what level you are.
“Recently we put out a press release about a collaboration we’re doing with a hospital using our BioSensor. It’s the first hospital in Europe to do this and it’s a really exciting joint initiative. I got a call from Steve Klink, the Head of the Global press Office to congratulate us and tell us that he was going to publish our release on a Global level. He thanked me and told me that he’d keep me posted on what he will be doing. I’ve only been here a year but it’s really great to be in a place where people are so open. You’re not just expected to sit behind your desk and look at a screen”
We work a lot with our Dutch colleagues and it’s interesting to learn from our cultural differences. It can be unnerving but it’s also really exciting to discover new perspectives.
 “I work for the Benelux market and work a lot with our Dutch colleagues in Eindhoven. Philips is so diverse that you learn so much from one another. It has made me realise and learn how to work with the cultural differences between Belgians and Dutch too. The Dutch are much more direct. It can be unnerving at first especially when you’re new to it all and want to be the same but it’s ultimately good. Being able to talk so openly and frankly is refreshing and we get things done much more quickly.”
Sometimes people tell you that as a new starter, it will be hard. I got lucky. I’m part of a great team with really cool colleagues I can count on.
“One evening, I was working away getting press packs ready for an event and everyone stayed behind to help me finish it off. Together, we got it done quickly and had fun. And that’s what it’s like. I’ve never met such a nice bunch of people. We work hard and play hard.”
I also got the opportunity to join the Fresh Starter program and meet Philips trainees. That has been great as it gives you a better idea of what Philips does and how we’re trying to improve lives.
“We got to visit one of our most advanced innovation manufacturing sites in Drachten and that was brilliant. I really think this is a company that gives you opportunities and really wants you to develop your skills and improve your network, believing that the more you learn and enjoy, the more you can contribute to the company and wider society. If you’re eager to learn and take on new challenges, then I’d say, come and work at Philips. You’ll find it a fun challenge that’s also really inspiring.”

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