The Place to Discover IT

Xavier Jie-A-Looi, Young Professional: IT

I grew up in a village in rural Drenthe, where I spent my fair share of time in the milking parlor. Many years later, here I am at Rabobank, helping to build a sustainable Food & Agri sector. The Young Professional Program: IT has an extra dimension for me because I spent so much of my youth in the country. I studied industrial engineering and management science. When I became really interested in IT, I started looking for an organization that would help me discover whether I wanted to pursue my interest further. This program was the perfect fit.

Learning from Colleagues

When you first start, everything is new, and you have to get used to the organization and get to know people. Quickly though, you come to understand the organizational structure and know whom to approach with your questions. Now that I know the ropes, I’m part of the team and it feels good. The reason? All the coaching. I can talk to my manager and a senior business analyst if I have detailed questions about the job. And there’s a talent manager, too, who is one of the program supervisors. I talk to him mostly about how I’m doing and my own development.

As a Business Analyst I have to draw up a list of requirements, basically anything our client wants a process or system to be able to do. To integrate them into the system we’re building, it’s important to systematically update and maintain the requirements to ensure clarity. I am the linking pin between the business and IT in the process of determining what the best solution is.

Even though I still have so much to learn, I’m a full-fledged participant in the project. At the moment I’m working on a project that aims to streamline the loan approvals process for large corporates. It’s a great opportunity to learn on the job, but also to use Agile and scrum methods to reflect critically on the process. Working like this helps keep us sharp and, if necessary, we can change directions or methods. Newcomers also get to develop their own area of expertise. Right now, I’m still trying to decide what I want that to be by working across the Business and IT spectrum.

Room to Grow

One day a week I take classes and training courses—I am a Young Professional after all! I’m even organizing some activities with other Young Professionals so that we can get to know the organization better. We’ve visited one of the local banks and we regularly invite IT colleagues from other domains to speak on subjects like risk, marketing and blockchain. Soon we will be handling a big, complex business case that has come to us internally. As Young Professionals, we bring a fresh set of eyes and new perspective to helping move Rabobank forward by improving transaction information services for SMEs.

In the near future, I plan to immerse myself in Agile and scrum methodology. Another priority is to develop my interpersonal skills by seeking out more cooperation with my co-workers. Before starting the Young Professional Program: IT, I was anxious that I didn’t know enough. Wasted energy in the end–what’s important is how you get to where you want to be. You learn what you need to know on the job, and many of the skills you need you’ve already got. At Rabobank, who you are as a person is the most important thing!