Why would you want to work for Aegon as an IT professional? Niels Sitskoorn explains why he exchanged his job as an external business intelligence consultant for a steady job at Aegon.
Did you already want to work in IT as a child?
Niels: "Haha, no, I really didn't. But I was interested in technology. When I was around sixteen years old, I helped my dad in the store. But what I enjoyed more, was programming and building websites. The internet was just coming of age during that time and I ended up studying Computer Science. In the end, building websites turned out not to be my thing. I didn't want to sit at a computer all day, so I became a business intelligence consultant. After about eight years, the company I was working for at the time sent me to work at Aegon as a contractor."
Did the idea of working at Aegon appeal to you?
"Well, to be honest, at first I thought that Aegon would be a bit stuffy. But I was pleasantly surprised! I started working on a project with an external project manager. Unfortunately, he fell off his racing bike and had to miss two months of work. I was given the opportunity to take over his job. The work was less behind the scenes and more stakeholder management oriented. I really enjoyed that, as that had already been an ambition of mine for some time. When he returned, he was given a different project and I was allowed to continue what I was doing. Some people were starting to joke around, saying: "Why don't you come and work with us as an employee"? And in the end, that's what I did."
You have probably already worked as a contractor with other good companies. What specifically convinced you to stay?
"I thought that I wouldn't mind working for Aegon for another five years, and why should I continue working for the consultancy agency. The only unfortunate thing was that I had to turn in my company car. But the other benefits were much better than what I had before. Aegon takes good care of its people. You get a lot of time off and there is a good balance between freedoms and responsibilities.
Colleagues trust that I am doing a good job, so they aren't checking every detail of my work. It is more working together to solve a problem than being called out for something that isn't right. You also don't need to explain yourself if you occasionally arrive at the office a little later. You are judged by your output. I believe that we have a good working atmosphere here, and my colleagues are a lot of fun."
So, you're happy here for a while?
"I try to have a conversation with an external company every year, just to see what's going on in the market, but I also do that to see whether I am still in the right place here. When you work in IT, you receive a lot of offers. However, I keep coming to the conclusion that I am still in the right place! Meanwhile, I am now working in the role of a data lake product owner. It's a challenging project whereby we store all the data from all our systems dating back to the '60s in a single environment. Highly innovative. We are a leader in this area. There are only a few companies that have that ambition and that reserve such a large budget for such a project. It's wonderful to be working on such a project. I can see myself working here for another couple of years or so."
How would you characterize your ideal colleague?
"Someone with a good sense of humor who takes their work seriously. But then again, not too seriously: working is not the most important thing in life. You must be able to maintain a balance, otherwise you will reach a breaking point. You really don't have to work eighty hours a week here."
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“The data lake is a challenging and innovative project. Aegon is a leader in this area over other companies.”