The track I took throughout university has always been more process optimization- and internationalization-oriented. With a master’s degree focused on international business, I had the chance to get an internship in Indonesia, where I was introduced to the wonders of ERPs and was acting as a project manager for an ODOO implementation, sorting problems and communicating with the local consultants that were helping us. It was a nice introduction and it comforted me in the idea that I wanted to work in an IT-related field without losing sight of the business side of enterprises.
Even before I flew back to Europe and finished my master’s thesis, I had a couple of interviews lined up. After a few successful rounds, I was lucky enough to have multiple job offers to choose from. The one that I ended up choosing was an offer from Avanade, a joined venture from Accenture and Microsoft, where I would be an ERP Business Analyst.
This was a major step into the corporate world for me. It came with both the challenges of being a cog in a well-oiled machine and the learning opportunities of having talented colleagues. My time at Avanade taught me how to be more organized, to be patient, the agile way of working and that great managers do make a difference.
After having been able to help, I hope, on a couple of projects, I soon realized I was missing something. Making gap analysis, creating documentation, and making presentations is all interesting and well but I wanted to open the hood of the machine and see how it was all functioning, in other words: going technical.
Having spent my share of time at university and not wanting to just quit my job, becoming a full-time student was not an option. Lucky for me, a branch of school 42 had opened in Brussels and this new style of education was entirely free and totally project-based. Exactly what I needed. There was only the matter of getting in. The entrance exam, or as it is known among students “The piscine”, is a month-long coding bootcamp where 150 candidates start and usually 50 make it in. Throughout the month you are learning, not taught, the basis of the C language through exercises, group projects and exams. I had used all my time off for the year to be able to attend the piscine, but damn was it a blast. It truly revealed my passion for coding and finding solutions to complicated problems.
I spent the next 6 months being a functional consultant by day and coding student by night. And in January of 2020 I received a job opportunity to become a Technical consultant for Novutech, a young consultancy start-up implementing and optimizing NetSuite for customers across the world. The interview went well, and the founders made me feel at home right away, and it was with eagerness that I accepted the job offer when it came my way. It was with a heavy heart that I left my first official job but I knew that the challenges ahead would scratch my technical itch.
I started my new job the first day of the first lockdown in Belgium, so it was definitely a different start. But as expected with the help of my technical colleagues and the trust that was put in me, I dived into every technical project that came my way. One of the bigger projects I was entrusted with was the creation of a bank connectivity bundle that would connect customers’ NetSuite environment to their banks through Isabel. Lucky for me with the pandemic at its peak I had plenty of time to dive in the nitty-gritty of the technical aspects of NetSuite and deliver a bundle that we now offer to our clients as a separate application.
Working in a smaller company also means that you are trusted faster with customer-facing matters and that you have to “grow up” faster as an individual.
Overall, I believe my journey into the marvelous world of ERPs is still at its beginning phase and will keep me on my toes for the decade to come.