Amba Harty
Amba Harty
WEB stories
Amba Harty
Junior Industrial Engineer

Tell me something about yourself

I grew up in George, South Africa, where I completed my high school education. After that, I moved to Cape Town for university. During my six years there, I did my undergraduate in Mechatronics followed by my Postgraduate in Electronics. Prior, to that, I au paired in the Netherlands for a year. I looked after three kids in Driebergen, just outside of Utrecht. I got to experience life in the Netherlands, and I knew I would be coming back.

What was your experience getting to the Netherlands?

WEB reached out to me after I had graduated from my Masters. From the moment WEB contacted me to the final arrangements, it was all remarkably smooth. It felt like it was meant to be because it was so easy. Finding a job in South Africa can be very difficult, especially because the market is very competitive and there are lots of candidates applying for the same positions. But it didn’t feel like that with WEB. When they approached me saying ‘Hey, would you like this job?’, it felt really nice to have someone come to you, understand what you are doing, and also have something for you.

From there onwards, preparing to get here was also very easy. WEB tells you what you have to do to prepare, and they help you with all the documents. They also have a welcome guide with lots of useful information. It was nice to have that support and know that WEB not only gets you to the Netherlands but also supports you in other ways. I came over first and then my partner, but I didn’t feel like I was going to some unknown country. I already felt like I knew the people, I had a base, I knew what was going to happen. I have other friends with IT roles in different companies, and it was a nightmare getting everything arranged. My experience with WEB was just amazing.

What was it like once you were here?

It was a lot, but it was also amazing. The culture shock did not really happen in ways others might experience it. For me, the first thing that stood out was that it was so safe. Everything works, like public transport actually works and it’s safe to take. There were a lot of moments when I could let my guard down where I could relax and do things. Being South African and having Afrikaans also really helped a lot. It’s cliché to say, but everyone is very friendly. Everyone speaks English and if you need help, there is always someone around. It was easier than I thought, it wasn’t difficult to adjust or to get used to things.

What do you do at WEB?

I work in Projects at WEB. When looking at scanning systems, the machines can be very complicated. You need precise steps on how to manufacture and maintain them. For example, you’ll have a procedure saying open the cabinet, remove the cables, take them out, and plug it in; there are millions of these procedures that you need for a machine to work. That’s why my job is to determine how long those procedures must take depending on what the operator has to do. I didn’t even know this existed before WEB. My undergrad in mechatronics and postgrad in electrical engineering were related to hardware design, whereas this role relates to industrial engineering. In South Africa, there is no industry like this at all. This is complete high-tech stuff, Silicon Vally material.

How did you find the work culture in the Netherlands?

At home, the work culture was very different. Although women are working in STEM industries, it’s still not where it should be. In my previous role, sometimes you could sense this judgment of ‘Oh, why are you letting her do that?’. Sometimes you weren’t listened to or acknowledged for your ideas. Coming from university where everything is flat and non-hierarchical, it wasn’t like that in the industry. Not all companies are like that, but after that experience, diversity became one of the topics I would question during my interviews. During my interviews at WEB, it was cool to see a woman in a higher-up position. It’s a completely international company and to see WEB’s inclusion of different cultures, and races, is fantastic.

What did you think of the atmosphere at WEB?

I knew what job I was applying for, but the work culture is amazing. At home, you start at 07.45 and you end at 17.00 and you do not leave your desk. At WEB, there is always something going on such as a function or Friday drinks. It’s very community-driven and it feels like WEB cares about us as people and not just the work that we do. Of course, that is important, but the work-life balance is amazing. You can have a game of ping pong, have a laugh over coffee and you know you will get back to work. There is always something happening, and it feels good, especially as an expat. The community is great, my colleagues have become my friends. I didn’t realize it when I signed up but it’s a huge part.

What advice would you give new joiners?

You’re in good hands with WEB. They help you throughout the process, so you feel well-prepared, and you know what to expect.

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