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How Maxim became an IT system administrator

Written by Astrid Roest on 19 September 2019 for Graduates

Maxim joined Exellys in September 2017. Two years later he got is Start Smart certificate and became an internal employee of Melexis, a global supplier of micro-electronic semiconductor solutions. One year in, we sat down to discuss his experiences of the first year.

From engineering student to IT system administrator

Way back when – in September 2017 to be precise –  Maxim Ronsse started working at Melexis as an IT System Administrator and proud Exellyst. He made what he considers the best decision ever when choosing Exellys and kickstarted his career from day one with our Start Smart Program. Today, almost 365 days later, he looks back on his experiences. Time for a chat!

Maxim’s Specs

  • 24 years old
  • Master of Science in Engineering Technology (Information Engineering Technology)
  • Always busy
    • Hanging out with friends
    • Building his own domotics (to the annoyance of his parents) – “Alexa, turn on the lights”, ping!
  • Passionate about ICT
    • He even has servers under his bed!
    • “I can truly say I’ve turned my hobby into a full-time job”

IT System Administrator

Maxim, let’s start from the beginning: how did you get in touch with Exellys?

“Being an information engineer in technology, I have a highly sought-after profile. During my last year I was overwhelmed by the amount of calls and emails I received from recruiters. I really didn’t know what to do or whom to choose. Luckily, a friend of mine told me about Exellys. I started to google you guys and I immediately felt like this was the way to go for me. Exellys really puts their people first (they are so much more than a recruiting or consultancy agency) and offers much needed training and coaching. I think I must have applied about an hour after visiting your website.”

What happened after you applied? What convinced you to join us?

“After applying, I participated in the selection procedure. The Exellys Tech Talent Scouts really know their stuff, even from a technical point of view! That gave me confidence that Exellys understands my ‘natural habitat’. My Tech Talent Scout Astrid also asked a lot of questions about me as a person. She was genuinely interested in getting to know me and she was very honest and open about how Exellys works and what to expect. I felt very much at ease and I felt like you would take care of me and my career. Something I haven’t experienced anywhere else.”

You already mentioned our selection procedure, but how did you experience being matched with your job and company?

“To be honest, it didn’t feel like a job interview. We just sat down and had an in-depth chat about me, my experience, my skills and my ambitions. The test I had to go through were of a decent level, fueling my trust even more about the fact that Exellys knows all about IT business. The entire selection and matching procedures took quite some time, by that I mean that Exellys really invests in getting to know you. It makes sense because they want to make sure they find the perfect match. It’s crazy how accurate the matching procedure is, I mean in my case they got it right off the bat! Melexis really is the perfect match for me.”

Why Melexis and what is your role there?

“There are several reasons why Melexis is the perfect match for me (1) it’s close to where I live, (2) there’s a flat company structure, (3) an open atmosphere, (4) a fast-paced environment, (5) experienced and fun colleagues to work with… everything at Melexis just works for me. Not only the company culture, but also the job itself ticks all the boxes. What I do on a daily basis besides shooting Nerf guns at my Exellys colleagues Mike and Domien? I spend most of my time being an IT System Administrator, meaning my main responsibility is the maintenance of the storage server: configurating new hardware, making sure the new hardware works seamlessly with the existing hardware and making sure the software is up to date. I basically have to make sure everything works as it should, all of the time.”

IT System Administrator

What is your biggest challenge as IT System Administrator?

“The biggest challenge I face every day is avoiding any downtime. Not as easy as it sounds seeing Melexis has servers in over 15 different locations! I already found a few ways to make my job easier, though. I wrote several scripts to speed up the process of working on all these different servers at the same time. I use these scripts to install automatic software updates, automatic software configuration of storage servers and so on. It’s the biggest challenge, but at the same time it gives me the biggest thrill when I get it right. Running scripts and seeing how I am able to transform a day’s work into a matter of seconds is the best feeling ever!”

You’ve been with Exellys for almost a year now. How has it been so far?

“It’s everything I expected it to be, really. The trainings have been very helpful and surprisingly hands-on. We get to improve vital soft skills that were basically neglected at university. I cannot emphasize enough what a plus it is to be able to develop these “professional” skills right from the start. Without Exellys, it would have taken me much longer to realize the importance of soft skills. What I particularly like about the Start Smart programme, is the fact that there are a lot of optional trainings to choose from. I get to personalize my development plan to suit my needs or sharpen specific must have skills with for example:

  • Customer focus training
  • Time management with Getting things done
  • Giving and receiving feedback
  • Presentation skills
  • Negotiation skills
  • Assertiveness training

Besides the training programme, I also have a personal coach at my disposal. That is just awesome, I mean who does that?!  I have a very good understanding with my coach An. She’s very experienced and helps me conquer all types of challenges I face, both personal and professional, big and small. An is always available (be it by chat, video call or face to face) and just knowing that I can reach out to her whenever I need to, gives me peace of mind. She knows me, my strong suits and my weak spots. She provides honest feedback and helps me become the best I can be. It’s unique. It’s Exellys.”

Is it safe to say you’ve grown quite a bit over the last year?

“Hell yeah! I’ve grown tremendously. I’ve become more open and I’m more confident. I love what I do and I found the perfect place to work. Exellys definitely had and still has a strong hand in that. Thanks to the regular meetings, trainings, knowledge sharing and fun events I got to know an awesome group of likeminded individuals. I feel like I’m part of a strong network of peers who are experiencing the exact same thing. I learnt the importance of soft skills and I get all the help I need from absolute experts in their field. As Exellysts, we do get an extensive training budget to sharpen our technical skills as well. I’m talking about 5k here, which is just amazing! I already used some of my budget to gain new expertise and I’m proud to announce I can call myself a NetApp Certified Data Administrator now!”

From engineering student to IT system administrator

Any final words or maybe some tips for graduating IT students?

“First, congratulations on graduating!!! Second, enjoy your summer because from September on… sh*t will get real. And last, you’re not done learning my friends. To be honest I don’t think you will ever stop learning. It’s a good thing for sure, just make sure you have a sound training program to fall back on. And reach out to young professionals to gain insight into what your professional future might look like.”

Thanks for the chat Maxim!

Has Maxim sparked your interest? Did you recently graduate or do you have no more than 3 years of working experience? Exellys is always on the lookout for young and ambitious IT talent, let’s talk! Shoot our IT Talent Scout Astrid an e-mail at with your motivation and resumé and who knows, we might see you sooner rather than later!


Written by Astrid Roest Talent Development Manager