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Rutger: From computer science graduate to technical consultant

Written by Steven Geelen on 20 September 2019 for Tech Graduates

Rutger joined Exellys two years ago. In that time he successfully wrapped up his Start Smart program and became an even better version of his (professional) self. This is how he ended up with us and how he experienced his first couple of weeks and months…

From computer science graduate to technical consultant

They say first impressions are the most important. So, when Rutger Van Acker discovered Exellys and everything we stand for, he kept in touch. Because he could not get us out of his mind, even after having committed to another job, he eventually ended up with us. And that’s where the love story continues. Meet one of our technical consultant who, honestly, always had a connection with us and wisely decided to make his move.

Rutger’s specs

  • 25 years old
  • Civil Engineering with a Master in Computer Science (KULeuven)
  • Passionate about sports and exercise
  • Soccer referee in Limburg
  • Proud pug father

 

Rutger, tell us a little bit about your first impressions of Exellys.

“In my final master year, I visited the VTK Job fair in Leuven where Exellys was represented. I liked the way they were really interested in people and the values they stood for, such as the close follow up on coaching, the trainings and personal touches throughout every recruiting process. I was intrigued and left my contact details. After graduating, I rushed into getting a job at an IT consultancy company, which unfortunately, wasn’t a match for me personally.

After this debacle, Exellys came back into my life through Brecht, a friend who did join the company. He was talking so passionately about all aspects of his job, such as the coaching, the training program and the overall vibe, which were the exact things that had stuck with me since that first job fair. Brecht listed me as a referral, got a referral bonus of €2,000 for bringing in new talent and I got back in touch with Exellys, so that was definitely a win-win situation. But he should obviously pay for the drinks the next time we go out (laughs)!”

Rutger: Computer Science Graduate and Technical Consultant Brecht and Rutger during one our quartely Meeting of the Minds

That’s a nice love story! So the values and promises you liked so much during the fair, were they also represented during the selection process?

“What flattered me the most was the personal approach. Most companies that contacted me during my final years blankly delivered a sales pitch to draw me in, but none of them focussed on what I wanted. Exellys really walks that talk. As early as the selection procedure, I noticed that they value connecting and really getting to know the person they were about to take on. I met with Penny, the recruitment team lead, and we just had a nice informal chat about me as a person and how I would fit in. Besides the social profiling, I took some difficult technical tests, which convinced me even more that Exellys is the best in the business and sets a high standard.“

A definite match with Exellys, but how was the process of matching with your first client?

“To me, this was very similar to the selection procedure. We talked about my personal interests, my field of expertise and my ambitions. I was introduced to a couple of possible matches, but the final choice was really up to me. I felt like I was in the driver’s seat of my own career. One of the companies that spoke to me was Swift, a global provider of secure financial messaging services. I was interviewed at their offices, but again, all the talks were very open and smooth to really look for the best fit for all parties involved. Thanks to Steven, my current TDM, who joined me for the interview, everything about the match felt right.”

What does Swift actually do and how did they convince you to hop on board?

“In short, Swift’s main service is an Alliance Messaging Hub, which is basically a toolbox to send out internal and external messages that we configure to the needs of every client. We will sit down with the client to discuss all their requirements and co-write the model. Because it is difficult to tell on the fly that ‘this is the right system’, we understand that constant adjustments are part of the job which makes for a very agile way of working.”

One of the things that really appealed to me was the international character of the job at Swift, which creates the possibility to work abroad from time to time. They also offer a really challenging environment from a technical point of view, but at the same time stimulate me to discover the business side of the work I’m doing. This combination of tech, business and the international extras made choosing for Swift a no brainer, because who doesn’t love to travel, right?”

Seven months in, how have the trainings and coaching sessions at Exellys contributed to your professional career?

“The training and coaching sessions were really valuable, because it gave me the possibility to improve and reflect on myself at the same time. The first training was the Start Smart Kick Off weekend in the Ardennes, where we focused on Insights training and giving and receiving feedback. I noticed that this was quite challenging for me, going both ways. Being the point of contact means having to deal with feedback from customers from time to time. I learned that giving feedback is about bringing the message across in the correct way, whether it be to my colleagues who I work with every day because or to my superior during an evaluation for example.

I already have a bunch of new trainings lined up to finetune my presentation skills and gathering requirements, but also to improve my technical skills and obtain some certificates in Oracle.”

What are, for you, the key takeaways from these sessions?

“I have really seen myself grow exponentially because of the trainings, and I realise that this is quite the statement I’m making here. The trainings are evenly spread in time and balance between technical and soft skills. Because Exellys gives us the freedom to choose freely, I was able to develop the points I really wanted to improve. As a result, I have been able to learn the right things at the right time in my career. Which is a nice plus for my personal growth as for the customer I’m working for.”

From computer science graduate to technical consultant

Alright, keep on growing Rutger! Do you have some last words of advice for future IT graduates?

Don’t make the same mistake I did by rushing important decisions! There is an abundance of jobs and openings within IT and technology. This is an opportunity but can also be overwhelming for young graduates. Just take the time to carefully explore all potential scenarios and most importantly, focus on your long-term vision and not only on what is offered. If you focus on yourself, you’ll end up where want to be.”

Thanks for the wise words, Rutger.

Do you want to improve, be your best self in your job or are you looking for a first experience within a company that will most definitely put you and your skills first? Exellys is always on the lookout for young and ambitious Tech Talent, let’s talk! Head over to our job page to find your next challenge.

Written by Steven Geelen Talent Development Manager