Zhen Zhu, Product Manager

Beneq is a diverse group of people with a range of skills and backgrounds, including over 15 nationalities. With so many perspectives, we have plenty of stories to share around what we do, and what makes us thrive. Zhen is a Product Manager on the team, and this is what he had to say. 

Shaping a unique career path

I’ve been with Beneq since 2011, but I originally moved to Finland in 2007 for my master’s degree. I’ve always been quite academic, and it was when I was at university that I learned about ALD and then Beneq, after a classmate introduced me to the business. 

I’ve worked in many positions since I’ve joined Beneq: three years in the field as a service engineer, then three years in the R&D team where I focused on the process development, followed by two years in the sales team as a sales engineer. Now I’ve been in the product manager’s position for about two years. I’ve learned a lot from engaging with our customers and their industries along the way. This means I can really understand their needs and match them to exactly the right technology from our offering. 

I like working here because this is high-tech space and you can choose your own path. It’s a great place to learn about this whole industry. I started in a product role that was very hands-on, then went on to learn about the machines, and then the processes, and then how to design the machines themselves. Over the years I’ve been able to become an expert in this whole field. 

Growing to achieve our potential

I’ve always really liked engineering, and in my new role I’m finding it very interesting to learn about leadership and management too. I put a lot of energy into my work and structuring the team, and the flexibility here helps. People can rotate in and out and learn from different areas as they do. You’re able to find the role that can bring more value to the company, which means as a business we’re able to continually adapt.

This is a growing industry and we’re a growing company – we’ve hired something like 23 people already this year and we aim to hire up to 60 new colleagues. We’re really agile and can make strategic moves quickly when we need to. The ALD industry is getting bigger and bigger, which means we can expand and find new opportunities to make more of an impact. That’s why I feel like my job is really important in the bigger picture. The company started in R&D, and that legacy is still strong, so even though it’s new, my team has an important role in our development and growth.

A culture of learning

The culture here is really flexible. You’re not fixed to hours so you can work more today and less tomorrow if you need. I can always take vacation when I need it, and now with the pandemic I’ve been able to work from home. But having said that, I like being in the office. I enjoy being able to work when I’m on-site, and then focus on other things when I’m home. You can balance work and life this way.

This is also a place where you can learn and work at the same time. I did my PhD while working at Beneq, on a topic that was relevant to my job. That means that as a business, we’re always growing our knowledge too. We continually learn from the industry we’re in, and then use that to improve what we do. For me it’s been highly motivating to grow my expertise and as a result develop products that can better serve our customers’ needs. 

Zhen Zhu is a Product Manager who works for Beneq’s Advanced ALD unit. We are constantly looking for new colleagues to join our team from all over the world. Check out our open positions here!

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