Engineer Tom: 'I started as an intern at Gpi and grew into my current position'

At Gpi De Gouwe, we regularly welcome students and interns. Depending on their goals, these students become part of our team for a day part to several months. Such as Tom de Waal, a mechanical engineering student at the Hogeschool Rotterdam. Last year he successfully completed his graduation internship at Gpi De Gouwe in Gouda and is currently supporting the engineering team alongside his current studies.

Tom: “After obtaining my mbo level 4 education, I started an associate degree in mechanical engineering. This choice was well-considered, as it was a nice stepping stone for me to be able to enter the 3rd year at the bachelor of mechanical engineering after graduating.”

Engineering has always been his interest, as evidenced by Tom’s choices from his teenage years. Even his side jobs were technical in nature. In his last side job, he welded bottom bearings, among other things, in addition to his other duties at this metal company. It was therefore a perfect opportunity to be able to do his graduation project on bottom bearings at Gpi De Gouwe, focusing on optimization and hygiene while respecting all regulations. “I was encouraged to not only work behind my computer screens, but to create my new design myself, test it and finally have it evaluated. During this process, I met with colleagues from various departments and learned a lot from them.”

‘I was encouraged to not just work behind my computer screens but to create and test my new design myself’
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Good match
The sense of a good match between Tom and Gpi was quickly confirmed. Gpi got to know Tom as an enthusiastic, inquisitive and friendly budding engineer. “I felt at home at Gpi from my first visit. This was due to the warm welcome from my colleagues, the guidance I could count on during my graduate internship and receive to this day and – not unimportantly – my assignment was immediately clear and bright. My internship supervisor knew what to do. As a result, there was no noise on the line and my internship went very smoothly” he explains.

Tom began his internship at Gpi De Gouwe on Feb. 1, 2023, and graduated six months later. Two months after graduating, he accepted the offer to come work part-time at Gpi De Gouwe alongside his studies.

He talks enthusiastically about his current work: “I am working on the standardization of Gpi’s process equipment. We recently purchased Solid Edge’s design configurator software, which allows us to control and generate 3D models parametrically. I also translate 2D drawings into 3D models with all associated specifications, such as the appropriate parts lists. It is a nice challenge to set up this software to our situation, and I feel honored that Gpi puts its trust in me to do this for the company.”

‘Gpi is a young and dynamic company where you are given room to develop yourself’

‘If you are looking for a good internship, Gpi is definitely worth considering. It is a young and dynamic company where you get the space to develop yourself. Tom emphasizes, “All my colleagues are experts in their field, and you can tell by the way we handle every step of the process, from application to aftercare. At Gpi, they don’t look at age, they look at qualities. As an intern, you can talk to any colleague, regardless of their position. There is an atmosphere of equality and that feels good to me.”

Tom still has a year and a half to go before he graduates. In a future position he hopes to combine both technical aspects and social interactions, Think of a position as a project manager, because Tom likes dynamics.

Curious about what Gpi can offer you? Check out our internships and vacancies, or feel free to drop by for a cup of coffee!


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