A New Grad’s View of Worklife
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Feb 27, 2017

Wondering what it’s like to work as a new college graduate (NCG) at Lam Research? If so, we can give you a really good idea, straight from several of our very own NCG employees. We asked these recent grads – located in Austria, California, India, Korea, Oregon, and Taiwan – about their work day, what they liked about their job, and much more. We think you’ll find their comments about their work experiences both insightful and helpful as well as reflective of the variety of job opportunities available within the different geographic regions at Lam.

Their stories were covered in our blog series, “A Day in the Life of an NCG.” Here, we’ve captured a few of the highlights. You can read more from the individual articles by clicking on the images below.


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What is a typical day at work like?

On a daily basis, I work together with my team on projects. Typical activities are feasibility studies, requirement analysis, design, implementation, and unit testing. This includes coordinating with the quality assurance team during testing, preparing new software documentation, and performing demonstrations for customers. We engage in technical discussions and brainstorming sessions to discuss issues, collect input, resolve bugs, and address customer questions on software usage. – Prabha (India)

I spend most of my time in the lab running experiments to test the feasibility of new ideas. When at my desk, I analyze data, read papers, and write reports. Since some of my projects involve collaboration with university professors, sometimes my manager takes me to meet with our university partners. – Zhongwei (U.S., California)

My workdays vary, depending on the condition of the Lam equipment at the customer site. Most of my time is spent working on etch systems in the customer fab with my team. We identify the root cause of problems, provide the best solution as quickly as possible, and then document procedures based on what we learned. Sometimes equipment issues take a while to correct, but once we solve a problem, our team will have lunch or dinner together. That is one of my favorite things about working here at Lam Research Korea. – Minhoon (Korea)

How do you like your job and the work you are doing?

Compared to academic research, working at Lam is very fast-paced and more team-oriented. I like the variety of activities I have and staying busy. With time, I’m getting more responsibilities and more opportunities to communicate my research results, which is important to me. There are always new problems to solve, so the work is never boring. While it is challenging at times trying to stay on top of everything, it can also be fun. – Kathryn (U.S., Oregon)

I like solving challenging technical problems and learning about new technologies. I am proud to be working on some of the world’s leading technologies. I also like knowing that by using my knowledge, I am part of the ongoing quality-of-life improvements this industry is making. – Taeyang (Korea)

Is your job and the workplace what you expected?

I would never have imagined the extent of new knowledge I would gain within a short time and how immediately I could apply it to my work. – Julia (Austria)

I did not anticipate some of the differences I’m seeing between academia and industry. For example, in academia, it is considered quite an accomplishment to have reliable, reproducible data. However, at Lam, every step of a procedure for data collection must be documented and consistent, from material receipt and processing all the way to packing and labeling. I had no idea that standards could be so rigorously defined before delving into my new job. – Elyse (U.S., California)

What helped you transition to the workplace?

Before joining Lam Research, I was concerned about making the transition from college life to a corporate environment. Fortunately, the company provided my peers and me with “Campus to Corporate” training, which helped us understand the key differences we would encounter in the workplace and make a smooth and comfortable transition. – Deepak (India)

I did an internship where I was part of Lam’s hardware team. The experience helped me become familiar with Lam’s equipment and key technologies. Now I have a broader perspective, and this is valuable for problem-solving and decision-making. Lam’s buddy system and online training have also been very helpful. – Jeff (Taiwan)

Why did you choose Lam Research?

I chose Lam because I believed I could contribute to product design and achieve significant personal and professional growth in this industry. Also, the Villach location was very attractive to me. I love adventures and living in foreign countries and always wanted to come to Europe. This is the perfect opportunity to experience a new environment and lifestyle—and learn a third language. – Michael (Austria)

During my job interview, I could tell that the interviewers were trying to identify my strengths, rather than focusing on my shortcomings. I felt working for a company that focused on my possibilities would be a great opportunity, so I didn’t hesitate when I got a job offer from Lam Research. – Minhoon (Korea)

What do you like about working at Lam?

Lam has supported my desire to stay academically relevant: our team’s research results were published, and I have already co-authored a patent. Last summer, I had the opportunity to present some of my results at a conference in Japan. I also love living in Portland! I feel so lucky to have a good job in such a cool part of the country. – Kathryn (U.S., Oregon)

There are many talented people here, and I am proud to be working with them. The management team is very open-minded and Lam is an organization that encourages its employees to try new things and take risks. Also, because the Mission, Vision, and Core Values are communicated throughout the company, it is very clear where management is heading and what an engineer should do to achieve success. – Jeff (Taiwan)

I like the high standards, influx of new challenges, and teamwork—which I think is important for being able to make a real impact. Because Lam provided me with a mentor, it was easy to learn how to fit in and feel comfortable. I was even able to find an “unofficial” mentor who was willing to help me grow in more specific project-related knowledge. Finally, I am excited about my future career opportunities, given the company’s promising outlook and ongoing industry need for new technologies. – Elyse (U.S., California)

What advice might you offer other recent graduates on transitioning to the workplace?

To keep growing in your career, think about getting experience in more than just technology and engineering; the business side is very important as well. – Eli (Taiwan)

Don’t be afraid to ask questions, especially at a company like Lam, which fosters a culture of open communication and teamwork. Also, be flexible and adaptable. In school you have set schedules and deadlines. In the workplace, these fluctuate because needs are constantly changing. Finally, take every opportunity to learn and grow. – Nichele (U.S., California)


To learn more about NCG opportunities at Lam, please visit the College Programs section of our website. You may also find the following regional profiles of interest: