Martijn van Andel, risk analyst and business intelligence consultant at the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets, Amsterdam.

Could you give a quick overview of your professional career after you graduated?

I started with Tibbe Company, a start-up based in Twente that provided process and result improvement projects in healthcare. Later on, the company became a division of KPMG Plexus. I noticed that I kept coming up with solutions that had a strong IT component. I also created my own IT tools to accompany these solutions, using the basic skills I acquired during my Bachelor’s in Industrial Engineering and Management and my Master’s in Logistics.

I felt, though, that my IT solutions were too much like quick fixes, my work was sort of slapdash. That sparked the ambition to learn to develop IT professionally. So in 2011, I joined Hot ITem, a business intelligence company in Amsterdam, as a developer and later on as a technical project leader. In that period I really grew in professional information processing.

With the knowledge I gained there, I wanted to return to my main ambition: helping organizations achieve better results by coming up with practical solutions. I wanted to get closer the heart of things again. After an anti-fraud and anti-money-laundering project at a European bank, switching to financial supervision was just a small step. That is how, in April 2013, I started as a risk analyst and BI consultant at the AFM, researching potential problems in the financial sector.

Looking back at your career thus far, what you are most proud of?

In all of the jobs I have had, I have been able to set in motion processes that to this day are working well. Considering the number of projects that sink within two years – in spite of all the energy people have invested in them – I am extremely pleased with the value addition I have been able to offer. 

Have you become what you thought you would?

No, although my current position is something that I would have enjoyed doing straight after graduating. But the path my career has taken has been completely different from what I imagined. I thought I had landed my dream job on day one, but although it was challenging and I had great colleagues, I found myself wanting to spend time doing other things: the job just didn’t energize me. When you are about to graduate, you cannot really imagine a full-time work turning out differently than you expect. I see a lot of graduates needing extra time to search around before they find the job that suits them best.

What was your experience of studying at the UT like?

Super. I was given so much space to develop myself in Twente – not only during my studies, but in extracurricular activities, too. I was amazed by the sense of togetherness we shared as students: it doesn't matter which society or club you belong to, in Twente the doors are always open to any student with a good story.

How does the knowledge you gained during your studies match with your current work?

The analytical approach to problems we learned has become part of my daily work. As a student of Industrial Engineering and Management, you learn to effectively map out problems and take them on. The experience you gain in mathematics and programming also enables you to add an extra level of depth to your work. With a wide range of knowledge and skills you are well equipped to take on a large share of a given project. And once in a while you still pull out an old case study and apply it directly to the situation at hand.

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