Learning about three jobs in one and a half years. That’s an option during the IT Development Program, a unique opportunity according to Sabine Hidding (26) from Groningen. She started with the program a year ago and is sharing her experience thus far.
How do you like working at Aegon?
Sabine: "It's great! It's already been a year since I started out as a business analyst in Leeuwarden. In that job I worked on a fairly technical project. The objective of my project was to digitize all communications related to our pension benefits. We are currently still sending some documents by regular mail and we want to start using digital channels for those documents. It was an extremely challenging project. Half a year later, I started working as a UX researcher."
Sounds like something completely different...
"That's correct. That's what I like about the IT Development Program, you can try different jobs. It has made me more aware of my strengths, areas for development and motivators. I realized during my studies that I was interested in the User Experience (UX). Therefore, for my second job, I started working in the UX department at Aegon. The project I am working on is to improve the service provided by the UX team. The ambition is to grow UX at Aegon and for the team to be more customer-focused in their work. I am mapping out the current processes so that I can come up with targeted solutions. You learn how to think from the customer's perspective and to develop creative solutions for complex problems. This is also referred to as design thinking."
Can you provide an example?
"Absolutely. The Aegon UX team is comprised of researchers and designers. The researchers conduct qualitative and quantitative research. This means that we provide insight into the demands and preferences of users. We also evaluate our products and services together with customers. Think about what applicants think of our recruitment process, and also what customers think of our websites or apps. After analyzing the results, we translate those findings into solutions. Currently, the advice is often very extensive, which means it takes a lot of time to review that advice. I worked with my colleagues to develop a condensed format. This allows our people to see a summary of our advice."
What comes next after this job?
"I'm not sure yet. But I have a few ideas. I think it would be fun to shadow a project manager or product owner. Why? I want to see something through from the beginning to the end. I think that you learn a lot from that. During stakeholder meetings, you work on transforming business needs into solutions. I will speak with my manager about it soon. Maybe he has some tips on who I can talk to about that type of job."
What is actually the biggest challenge at Aegon?
"There are many challenges at Aegon. I like that, to be honest, because with all those challenges, I can keep learning. There are some things I dreaded in the beginning. Let's take the first job for instance. I had just joined Aegon and was working on complex, technical matters, and I had to get all stakeholders on the same page. That was no easy task. However, I achieved my goal through sheer determination."
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