Video: From Business Engineering graduate to Functional Analyst – Meet Liseon 22 February 2022 for Graduates
Meet Lise Willemsens, a young and dynamic Business Engineering graduate who joined the Exellys team almost two years ago as a Functional Analyst at Belfius Insurance. In the video below, Lise tells us a little bit about her background, specifically her studies and how she ended up at Exellys.
(Interview from June 2021)
Prefer reading over watching? Simply scroll down to discover her story in text.
A little bit about me
At the end of high school, I had to choose which field of study I wanted to explore. That was a rather difficult choice for me to make, because there were so many subjects I was interested in: languages, mathematics, physics, etc. I ended up choosing Business Engineering at KU Leuven, because it involves a lot of different things, such as economics and mathematics.
During my Master’s, I also learned a lot about Norwegian culture, as I studied there for a semester during my Erasmus exchange program. By the time I came back, I had to start writing my thesis. At this point I already knew I wanted to do some more studying. I was interested in the Educative Master in Economics and Mathematics, which prepared me to become a teacher. Not that I want to do that right away, but I figured that it’s never bad to keep your options open and I knew that I was going to pick up a lot of interesting skills along the way.
During my university studies, I was on several committees, such as the Book Shop and the Development Committee, where I gained experience in different fields. I thought it would make it clearer to me what I wanted to do in life, but it didn’t: I still had so many interests…
My application process at Exellys
Anyway, I had to look for a job, and what better place to do that than at a job fair, right? It was there that I first met Exellys. They told me they were looking for consultants and talked about what it is they do, including their training programmes and coaching philosophy. Although it was a good talk, I wasn’t interested at first, because I heard the word ‘consultant’. I didn’t think consultancy was for me: I didn’t want to go from one project to another, at a different company every week, month, or year.
A couple of months later, Exellys called me again and asked if I remembered them. I told them that I did, but also explained that I wasn’t interested in becoming a consultant: I wanted to work for one organization and fully commit myself to that one employer. It was only then that I fully grasped Exellys’ model: You work at one of their clients for two years, get lots of trainings and a personal coach of Exellys and after two years, there is the opportunity to join the client’s organization. And then I haven’t even spoken about the power of the community at Exellys.
As soon as I realized that I was on board, and I went through the online application process (Covid was already a thing back then). It went well, because afterwards I had my first talks with potential ‘matches’. My first conversation was with Belfius Insurance and that’s where I still am nine months later!
My job as a Functional Analyst
I’m the translator between the ‘business’ and the developers. For example, a client may want to see his documents in the Belfius app. That request comes to us, and we see what is feasible technically, which solution would be futureproof and what is architecturally advised. We translate this analysis into instructions, which we give to the developers. They do their job and come back to us with the product, which we then test before we hand it back to Business, where they test it again.
That’s the job, but equally important is the team. I’m in the Document Management team, and there are quite a lot of Exellysts and Exellyst alumni working there, which makes it a really nice atmosphere. It’s fun because they know about the history, which trainings are going to come and so on.
Working for Exellys
Besides working for Belfius Insurance, I’m obviously also working for Exellys, and that has quite a lot of advantages. For the purpose of brevity, I will limit myself to listing only three of them, but bear in mind there are many more, at least in my opinion:
The first advantage of Exellys, is that you are coached in a very good way. Right from the start you have an ‘expectations meeting’ with your Talent Development Manager (TDM) and the client. After that, there are regular feedback meetings and one-on-one coaching sessions, which I find to be a very good way to start your career. Your TDM is a personal coach, who guides you through your trajectory. I can basically ask my coach anything, she is very friendly and always there for me.
A second advantage of Exellys is the training program. There are two parts: first, you have the group trainings. You start with a group of people in a sort of class and learn about interesting things such as giving and receiving feedback, for example. Next to that, there is the individual track, where you can choose whatever fits you, your role, and personal interests. Most of the more technical trainings are in this part the track as these vary for everyone at Exellys. It’s a really nice combination that definitely impacted my learning curve in a positive way.
If I have to choose only one more advantage, I will have to say it’s the events. I started during Covid times, but still there have been many events – online and offline. There are trainings, but also afterwork fun events, a breakfast with the CEO, etc. All of this shows the kind of place Exellys is: a friendly environment where you get to meet a lot of peers and therefore expand your network. But mainly it’s just a lot of fun.
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