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Life after the TU Eindhoven

Jorge

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What happens to internationals and after they leave TU/e? Do they go job hunting in the Netherlands, pack their bags and explore the world, or return to their home countries? Internationals and expats at TU/e  talk about their lives after TU/e. In this Cursor: Jorge Alves Lino (1979), originally from Lisbon, Portugal.

When did you start at TU/e?
In 2007, I started as a communication designer in the marketing and communication team of ID, and as a coach in the education department. In 2008, I started a PhD track in ‘Responsive Environments’ at the Designed Intelligence research group, that moved to the Department of Media at the University of Amsterdam in 2011. I continued coaching, later at the ‘Light Time Space Movement’ theme, until February of 2015.

What do you do nowadays?
I have a double position as Managing Director at the STRP Biennial (since November 2014), and as Director of Designhuis Eindhoven (since April 2014), which will reopen its doors in the course of 2015.

Was this what you intended to do?
In this field yes, but not necessarily in these particular positions. Having said that, I’m very proud of where I am. As a foreigner, being given the trust and responsibility to lead such emblematic public organizations of the Eindhoven cultural sector gives me a huge sense of acceptance and recognition.

Was it difficult to find a job?
Not really. I see jobs as projects, regardless of how long they will take. There are points where I feel there is time for change, and embracing that change I reflect on how to conclude what I am doing, and what is it that I would like to do next. What do I want for myself and what can I do to achieve that? Sometimes there are huge coincidences and you meet the right people at the right time, but essentially, I tend to take action and create opportunities to share my vision and ideas with relevant parties. I am engaged in the contexts I want to work with naturally and in a pro-active way.

What I always advised my own students was to look at their studies as part of their career development. A career doesn’t start upon graduation. A career starts when you start developing yourself. Studying is a great opportunity to network and show what you can do. If by the end of your studies you have been in touch with the right people and organizations professionally, in the context of your studies and,then that gives you a more realistic professional preparation for the future.

How do you reflect on your time at TU/e?
I met one of the Industrial Design professors, Matthias Rauterberg, at the FMX Festival in Stuttgart in 2006. Both our work was featured at the festival, and after a few conversations, the opportunity arose to work with him in Eindhoven. To me it makes sense that many of my friends were originally colleagues at TU/e, so whether I’m employed by TU/e or not I will always feel connected to and part of it. It has been a time of professional and personal development.

Will you stay in the Netherlands?
I was born and raised in Portugal. Since 2002, I have lived in Belgium, Norway, the Czech Republic, and France. I moved to the Netherlands in 2007. While it was very exciting to live in different countries for a while, at some point you want to be based somewhere. Portugal will always be my home, but right now the Netherlands feels quite like home, too.

What advice would you give current students? 
You cannot travel enough. The more you see, the broader your horizon. What I always advised my own students was to look at their studies as part of their career development. A career doesn’t start upon graduation. A career starts when you start developing yourself. Studying is a great opportunity to network and show what you can do. If by the end of your studies you have been in touch with the right people and organizations professionally, in the context of your studies and,then that gives you a more realistic professional preparation for the future.

Published in TU/e Cursor, 28 May 2015, interview by Judith van Gaal.

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