We sat down to talk to Maxime, who went from student to master. More precisely, he went from student intern to Railster team lead. It has been a journey!
How did you first learn about Railnova?
The first time I heard about Railnova was in 2011. I was looking for an internship with a friend of mine during my bachelor’s in electronics. He had a childhood friend who had recently started a company, and what he was doing there looked like fun.
This is how I met Christian and Charles-Henri (our current CEO and CTO). It was in a tiny office in Brussels, and there were only four Railnovians at the time.
They managed to sell us a dream and communicate their vision and determination. The mock-ups presented by Christian seduced us, and we finally accepted the internship.
More than ten years later, I am still here: I can tell that each year has been different since then, full of new challenges and opportunities.
What was your first project at Railnova when you started, and what was it like?
My very first project was during this internship… Well, I participated in designing the first version of the Railster UG (aka the Railster 1). I helped Charles-Henri to transform his first Railster prototype. This allowed Railnova to get their very first customer! The Railster has turned into a robust, powerful, and flexible product through our efforts. It was capable of solving our future customers’ problems. It is impressive to see how clear their vision was back then. Even if the path to get where we are now sometimes had some detours.
The second part of my first job was to improve the functionalities of the beta version of the Railster. It was already deployed and had to meet the new needs of Railnova’s first customer. It was amazing because I was working on an existing product this time, and my work ended up at the customer’s site in no time.
What a feeling of pride when it worked as expected! Again, the client-first vision was already there since day one. We made a flexible product, allowing us to adapt to customers’ needs and solve their problems.
What do you like most about your job?
My favourite aspect of my current job is diversity.
I work in a position where I can implement many of Railnova’s different technologies. I have to understand and manipulate almost the entire chain each time to solve very concrete problems of the customers. The variety is endless, as well as the technical and personal challenges.
What is your most significant achievement within Railnova to date – personal or professional?
In less than a year, I had the opportunity to build a team and give it a long-term vision. The results, especially the positive feedback from my peers and team members, are my biggest achievement. This is despite all the technical projects I have participated in over the years. Railnova gave me the opportunity and the right environment for success..
What does a typical day look like for you, and what are you currently working on?
That’s the whole point. There is no routine. There is no “typical day at work.”
Of course, there are many recurrent things. But the projects we work on are so varied that days follow each other but don’t repeat themselves.
If you could switch jobs with someone, who would it be?
This is a difficult question… *laughs*
I would say Hugues. He has the job with the most technical elements but with creativity and exploration. My current job already contains these aspects but on a different scale.
What three words would you use to describe your role?
(sorry, it’s more than three 🙈)
What advice would you give to recent new joiners?
Communication is key! Talk about your problems, ask questions, and don’t get stuck. It is crucial to communicate well because we are all in the same boat, and what blocks you also impacts others.
We are here to move forward together and help Railnova become better. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to suggest your ideas and challenge the status quo. But communicate clearly about them.