Alexandru Serban, engineer for network systems at SES, says he was attracted to the satellite industry as he had a desire for exploration and to “be involved in something which goes beyond human conventional boundaries, and hence started looking at the space and satellite industry for new opportunities.”
Unlike many of our previous interviewees for Generation Next, Serban does not see a big generational shift in the attitudes between the so-called “Millennial” generation and the older generation of engineers. He adds, however, that what his generation brings is the always-connected mentality and their focus on online services, which is exactly what the business world needs right now. “In the last decade, rapid changes in the market have resulted in the need for faster and easier-to-manage services. The satellite industry, like many others, has been quick to recognize these changes and innovate their services offerings. The younger generation’s personal experience, coupled with the pioneering generations’ wealth of wisdom, has enabled the satellite industry to evolve steadily,” he says.
While the industry often talks about the challenges of attracting young talent, Serban believes the satellite industry remains appealing for young engineers because it is seen as “the jewel in the crown” for most people seeking a career in the engineering/telecom sector. “In fact, people who know what I do are often intrigued by the job. The only perception problem I see here could be that this industry is seen as exclusive compared to others, and could hence be a reason why some young engineers might not consider it when deciding on their career path as they want to keep their options open,” he comments.
Europe is of course a hotbed for engineering talent. Serban believes there are plenty of opportunities already for young engineers in the region, and that the satellite industry will attract even more talents should they promote themselves more — especially to students. “We have brilliant technology students in some of the best universities, and they can benefit by knowing there are plenty of exciting opportunities outside of the big Internet players’ ‘playground,’ and in the satellite industry. Europe is well positioned on this front, having major commercial satellite companies based here and with the European Space Agency (ESA) making continuous steady progress,” he says.
Serban says there “is not a chance” that the satellite industry will be marginalized [in the global communications ecosystem] as it guarantees a wide coverage and reliable availability compared to terrestrial communication. Serban says he sees huge potential for the satellite industry to exert an even greater influence as innovative technological breakthroughs in the making could lead to major changes in our lives. VS