Sam S.
Research And Development Engineer
Job category Engineering & Science
Locations Philippines

About Sam

Key Experiences

Studied Electronics & Communications Engineering, now an R&D Engineer
I studied Electronics and Communications Engineering for my undergraduate degree at the University of the Philippines and I really loved my programming classes as well as my microwave and wireless communications engineering classes.

As a fresh graduate, I wanted to look for job opportunities that crossed off most in my checklist - if not all:
1. I wanted to look for a job opportunity that meets my interests
2. I wanted to be able to practice what I learned from my degree
3. I wanted a job which would help me to grow and widen my knowledge
4. I wanted to be trained well since I was very anxious about not having any work experience and I didn't know what to expect

Current Position

I develop software features that improve current 3G services
I develop features that introduce new or innovate current functionalities of 3G-based base stations that are being operated by numerous telecommunication service providers around the globe.

In other times, I also maintain the current operations of base stations by investigating on probable defects in the software we are testing before deployment and addressing these matters accordingly.

As the network can be complex and enormous, I am mainly based on the orchestration and management of 3G capabilities that reside in base stations, however, it is also crucial to have an idea of the fundamentals of the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) to better understand how each subsystem interacts with one another.

In order to deliver some of my daily tasks, knowledge regarding C++, Linux, IBM Rational Rhapsody, and version control are critical. However, my line of work is not limited to only using these tools.

I'm based in the Nokia Manila Technology Center, Philippines.

Main Motivations

Working for Nokia is rewarding and crosses everything off my checklist
Here is what I looked at when doing my checklist:

- Nokia is geared towards Telecommunication research and development
As an R&D company, Nokia has really applied the theoretical knowledge which we obtained at university to practice. I am excited to see that my company is at the forefront of contributing to the advancements and innovations in the Telco industry.

- Nokia has a well-prepared onboarding program for fresh graduates.
I was also particularly satisfied with seeing how the company trains new hires. We are rigorously taught of the values that the company take to heart, and trained for the skills and knowledge that would be most helpful for us at work.

Nokia emphasizes on quality and ownership which makes me feel valued. They also equipped me with the foundation I needed in order to start contributing to my team but is also challenging me to learn on my own.

-Nokia has a wide platform for continuous development
Nokia very much supports their employees' aspirations to improve and grow no matter the topic. They provide many resources and avenues to improve on or discover new skills.

-Nokia respects and encourages work-life balance
This is what I loved most about working for Nokia since I am also currently taking up my master's degree. I am glad to say that the company respects my time for my other priorities.

In addition to this, I enjoy the social gatherings and activities organized by the company or by my team.

Top Advice

Stay curious, don't stop asking why
I think it's always important to remember that there is no ceiling when it comes to learning a particular thing. In my first few months in the company, I have learned so many things and improved in so many aspects but I know that I am nowhere near an expert in my line of work.

It is a fun experience learning new things every day from my colleagues. I appreciate it so much that they don't think less of me for not knowing something nor judge me for asking so many questions - no matter how much I think they are too trivial. In the workplace, everyone understands that they have particular domains of expertise, but also they have their weaknesses. So approaching people and engaging in technical conversations are constantly encouraged.

Especially since we're working on a very large network, I learned that you should always stay curious and avoid being shy about your questions for your own personal growth and competence development in the industry.

Greatest Achievement

Just 3 weeks in the company and my friends and I won the hackathon!
We participated in the company's annual hackathon just for fun. The topic of the event was IoT (Internet of Things) and we thought it could be a great opportunity to learn something new.

Being new hires in the company, we were never confident of winning. In fact, we were quite scared and anxious that our idea would be nowhere at par with what the other teams would have thought. We realized we were definite novices as compared to those who had been working for the company longer than we had.

We were just hoping that what we came up with within the given time won't embarrass us during the demonstration of the projects. But to our surprise, we even won the first place! It was memorable because I felt we made our first mark in the company. It is a day to remember for me and my friend!


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