Fantastic opportunities abroad

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Making sure applications perform as they should: that’s essentially what I do as an IT run specialist. I’m responsible for an asset management application that our clients can use to make investments and savings. My role is chiefly that of coordinator; a link between our scrum team and the users. What problems do they come up against? What’s working well and what isn’t? Is there anything else they need? It’s an enjoyable role that brings me into contact with a wide range of different people in many different positions. I find the international nature of my work especially inspiring.

I find the international nature of my work especially inspiring. Lolke Holtrop IT run specialist with IT International

Cultural differences: always fascinating

I work with a lot of Indian colleagues in the Netherlands. I also regularly talk to German and French users, since the application has been rolled out in four countries. Users tend to ask for assistance or report incidents, and we also help to pass on or implement new solutions. The cultural differences between all these users are especially fascinating. That may be a cliché, but it’s true. For instance, the French tend to be a little more formal. You’ve got to persevere with your questions to find out precisely what they mean. Germans are more direct, but they’re also a bit reticent as well as being more hierarchically-minded. These cultural differences are also reflected in how people view the application.

To India to visit ‘close’ colleagues

Some of our programmers work in Pune in India. I’ll being going there in January to visit them, to meet people I work with closely each day, but only normally speak to long-distance. We’ll discuss our work on the application and how we can collaborate together as effectively as possible. There’s still a perception in some quarters that only the simpler programming work is done in India, but that’s long out of date. It’s now all very high-tech, and there’s no longer any need to prepare everything for them.

Visits like these are great for boosting team spirit

My contacts with my Indian colleagues were initially a bit formal but we’re now all much more relaxed with each other. We share plenty of jokes and have got to know each other reasonably well. That’s why I think these visits are great for boosting team spirit. Only when you’ve met face-to-face can you really be honest with each other! In the second part of my work trip, I’ll be attending presentations in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore given by our partners IBM and Cognizant, to develop my knowledge.

Wonderful to see so much

So I’ll be covering a lot of ground in two weeks, both in India and in my own area of expertise. It’ll be fascinating to see this exceptionally dynamic country and how quickly knowledge is being developed there. I’m also working to improve my skills at our IT Academy in the Netherlands. Developments in our world are moving so fast that you’ve regularly got to keep bringing yourself up to speed. So it’s great that the bank gives us the opportunity to keep on developing our potential, both here and abroad!

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