We are HERE: Sjon has a front seat view of autonomous driving
A study of geodesy and a longtime love of maps leads to a long career. For the next of our employee profiles, we spoke with Sr. Product Manager Sjon Kuijpers at our newly opened Eindhoven office.
What can you tell us about your role at HERE?
As a Senior Product Manager, I look to identify market opportunities for the next level of vehicle automation — with the ultimate goal of autonomous vehicles — and translate these opportunities into product requirements. Essentially, my role is to connect the strategy to the execution of the product.
I need to ensure that our developers understand why we are building the product and what is required to do so. Without this information, they would not be able to create the right solution for the market.
Currently, I’m working on the mapping layer of HERE HD Live Map product, which is our map offering for highly automated driving.
What is your background and how did you end up at HERE?
At Delft Technical University, I studied geodesy, which is about measuring and representing the Earth. I became interested in the discipline when I learned that an important part of the study was about topography and creating maps.
Upon completing university, I heard about a start-up that was building digital maps for navigation. A friend from university who had just started at that company told me there were openings for more people with our background, so it was an ideal opportunity to get a job in my area of interest and expertise.
Since I joined HERE right after graduation, I had a lot to learn. At that age, you don’t know much about working at a company, how to deal with customers and different cultures, and so on.
Now, 23 years later, it’s still a great pleasure to be part of this company!
At this point, I have had the opportunity to work in many different areas of HERE including quality, production, technical customer support, program management and product management. In each of these roles, I have grown and developed and increased the value I bring to HERE.
What are your hobbies?
I have always been interested in maps and wanted to know where I was and how to get to a destination, so maps are not only my profession but also one of my hobbies.
I also play bass guitar in two rock/pop bands; I like to cycle and have a good glass of Trappist beer. Of course, I also make sure to spend sufficient quality time with my family and friends.
What inspires you about working at HERE?
First, it’s the people. I have many nice and talented colleagues from many different countries, some of whom have become close friends. Furthermore, new technologies inspire me and HERE provides the opportunity for growth and development.
Find out about careers at HERE: here.com/careers.
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