This is the first ‘This is my next step’ (Dit is mijn stap) story in English, after 13 previous stories in Dutch. Why? Because the main person of this story is Aditi Paliwal from India (actually living in the Netherlands for 4,5 years) who wants to share her experience and development at Essent IT.
Start during covid pandemic in a completely new job
Aditi joined Essent – after having worked at one of the biggest banking companies in the Netherlands – October 2020. It was the second lockdown of the covid pandemic. Aditi: “this means online onboarding and no flowers or goodies, no introduction of the work environment”. Aditi joined the IT team as a Medior Devops Engineer. She chose for Essent because “Essent IT is very people oriented. There are many challenges and high pressure situations, but this is always in balance. The managers really take care of you. Besides starting in a new company, during a lock down, in an environment where people speak and use a mixture of Dutch and English, she also had to manage with a completely new job and organizational structure: At that moment the IT department was restructuring the organization and therefore was moving from a traditional developments and operations structure towards devops teams in several ART’s. Aditi: “My focus was integration devops engineering, working with integration technologies. As Essent IT grew in 2021 my function changed. As a devops engineer, I became responsible for my own stuff. Not only me, but the whole team was learning from these changes.”
Drive to learn more, go beyond limits
In this new situation where she just started working, Aditi was looking for ways to stretch and to support her colleagues: “I took up scrum master work for the team, I learned about API’s, I wanted to support the team and due to lots of OPS activities I learned a lot in a short time.” And she did not stop at her team and the work-related challenges. She also wanted to contribute in shaping the new devops teams: “I started helping with recruitment by interviewing candidates, for my own ART and for other teams. I wanted to do more for Essent as a company. Next to that, I broaden my job by taking up the role of a HR-Competence Lead which means that next to my own work, I coach devops engineers in getting the right mind set of a developer and operations lead in one”. For her it was very important to focus on learning more technology, but also developing coaching skills and being flexible.
“This is the place where I want to be”
Aditi offers Essent a lot of qualities and pushes herself continuously. The question is why is she doing this. Aditi: “I like to challenge myself but an important reason for keep doing this is the support of Essent. I got the opportunity to discover more about myself at Essent. I really found myself. I found good energy. Essent has transparent managers. After 7-8 months I discovered this is the place for me, here is where I want to be. This gives me the drive and energy. It is my company, I really want to step in. I feel responsible.” Moreover, Essent IT keeps developing fast, the opportunities to learn and grow keep coming: “I asked myself, what’s next when I want to keep adding value at Essent? How can I grow next? Cloud, engagers, data, a lot of roles, technologies, improvement…”.
New job, new future
After 18 months Aditi got promoted to senior engineer: “I really felt the recognition of my qualities and hard work. Not only on ART level, but also on Essent level. I learned what my talents are and became able to balance my skills with the right mind set when picking up other responsibilities. This gave me the chance to grow fast. Now I am involved in 4-5 communities to develop technologies”. And besides this, she is also working on filling the gap between the Indian and Dutch culture in craftmanship programs, she is supporting the Refugee Talent Hub , she was nominated for the Dutch RightBrains Award 2022 (top 10) and enjoys coaching people.
“Think as high as you can”
What advice does Aditi give her colleagues? First of all: “Be critical and self-motivated”. Secondly, especially for the non-Dutch colleagues: “Essent is very transparent. Everyone gives compliments and feedback. Have the same Dutch mind set and be clear and open about what your thoughts and ambitions are. Think as high as you can, that’s the beauty of working at Essent”.
Aditi age -32 , lives in Amsterdam almost 5 years now. She loves to travel and meet other cultures. After working hours you can find her often in the gym and she enjoys having party drinks outside meeting friends or chilling on couch.
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