I sort of have two jobs with some overlap. Depending on the project, I work more closely with the R&D team (e.g.: online help, release notes, installation manuals) or more closely with the marketing team (e.g.: product videos). Straddling both teams include work on UX and UI design, product brochures, photo shoots, and data sheets. I am also responsible for internal information management (like the company-wide knowledge center). My day-to-day work depends strongly on the projects I am working on, but it mostly starts with self-organization, prioritization, and consolidating the information received. Due to this broad field of activities, I work with nearly every corner of Dedrone – production/operations, R&D, sales & sales engineers, and marketing. Traveling is actually pretty rare, though I love going to the international offsites!
There is something very special about seeing how we have grown and become an international company and working with so many interesting, motivated, and highly qualified people. As a startup sprung from the minds of three enthusiastic yet totally different founders with a huge idea, everyone did what they had to do and knew about almost everything that happened in the company. I had the opportunity to set up Dedrone’s documentation environment from scratch, starting with choosing the tools, layout, writing style, etc. The start-up days were incredible! Equally, the last 2 years of exponential growth offer even more opportunities for me to develop professionally. I had the chance to get more involved in marketing, video production, and UI/UX design, which is really fun. The most significant difference is the occasional challenge that comes with so many people in different time zones! Becoming bigger and more spread around the world leads to the need for new processes and structures to keep everything running smoothly.
The team spirit is really special at Dedrone. Everyone is supportive and open-minded, and I feel like I have the freedom to talk to everyone in the company (I have emailed and spoken to AD, our CEO, directly without any concerns!). We have a wonderfully multicultural working environment; we work hard, and we have fun together.
In most conversations about what Dedrone does, the first question I get is: who needs it? And the answer is everyone with a certain degree of security needs. Drones have become more powerful and, therefore, more dangerous. The complexity of finding something as small as a drone from a great distance is also not well understood. Drone detection needs different types of sensors that must work well together. Defending against drones is the second step, not the first: security needs to know there is a threat before they can respond. Interestingly, sometimes, metaphorically closing the curtains is enough.
As a father of two young children and with an intense job, there is not much free time left, but I regularly try to play sports, garden and spend time with family and friends. For over 15 years, my great passion has been playing guitar in my band, Make Your Statement. We rehearse regularly and work on new songs, medleys, and interpretations. For me, it is always fascinating and a pleasure to see the power and joy of music. Our performances at birthdays, weddings or even corporate events give people of all ages and backgrounds joy – and that is our goal. Unfortunately, our bass player wants to leave the band this year, so we are now looking for a new band member. If you live near Kassel, Germany, are a bass player, and want to join an experienced band with gigs, feel free to contact me!
I live in a village near Kassel in central Germany. I love the closeness to nature and the safe and happy environment for the children. It is great that the children can walk to school on their own and visit friends independently. My in-laws also live close by, which is a great help!
February 24, 2023
April 25, 2023
About the author
Mary-Lou Smulders is the Chief Marketing Officer at Dedrone, where she leads Dedrone's global marketing and communications team.