I was about to pass my last IT management exams when it was time to choose my first job. I had always thought this would be an easy decision. After so many years of studying and finding my way through the continuously evolving digital world, I was sure I would know which job would suit me and what kind of employee I would be. In reality though, it turned out to be a more complex decision than I had expected.
The millennial dream job
When you’re a millennial on the verge of entering the professional world, you think you’re 100% ready to embrace the challenges of a professional career. Your concerns are often oriented towards the package on offer (Will I receive a company car? Group insurance? Meal vouchers? Etc.). Of course, you’re also interested in the day-to-day job and possible evolutions within the organisation. But there’s more to consider. Like the company’s values and culture. Do they listen to their employees? Will they value your ideas and contributions? Finding a position in which you can grow professionally and personally is a top priority.
Making the big decision
You could base your decision on the packages you’re offered, or the company descriptions the recruiters give you. But they all basically say the same thing. I decided to dig deeper into how the companies presented themselves to find the perfect match for me. LACO’s presentation, very interesting and natural, struck me with four key points:
1. Data & Business Intelligence consultancy
My first thoughts:
Damn, what is that all about? I like the combination of ‘Business’ and ‘Intelligence’, but what comes out of that?
I had no idea what was involved in the day-to-day work of a Data & Business Intelligence consultant. Two years later, I have learned there is a plethora of jobs that fall under this title. Whatever your desires or aspirations, you will find something. There are jobs to suit your nerdy side, your interest in business analysis, and your level of team spirit. From “ETL developer” to “Functional Analyst” or “Visual Data Analyst”, the scope of Business Intelligence (BI) jobs is pretty wide.
Despite seeming a bit messy at first glance, the sheer amount of job possibilities in the BI sector is a real luxury for any starter. Once I entered the world of BI, I was able to choose the domain I wanted to specialize in (ETL, Data Visualization, Data Architecture, Project Management, etc.). In BI, the only thing that can stop you from becoming what you want to become, is you.
2. Career path
My first thoughts:
You’ve introduced yourself as a consultancy company. I’ve heard how some of the big consultancy companies eat starters/young graduates alive and I don’t want to be a fresh meal for frustrated people!
I have been genuinely impressed by the way the management team at LACO actually wants to listen to the objectives, desires and ambitions of the employees. The organization has a family atmosphere that’s fun and friendly – it’s very different to what people expect at an IT consultancy company.
You’re free to choose your own career path, and there’s plenty of expert guidance to help you on your way. With 35 years of experience, the technical expertise on offer at LACO is first class. They also put a lot of effort into employee engagement, recognizing that it’s vital to have happy employees working towards the same objectives as the company.
3. Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence
My first thoughts:
Where do they fit in a Business Intelligence context? Are these just more buzzwords designed to attract the interest of up-and-comers?
A few years ago, ‘Cloud’ was the hottest topic in the digital world. Although that’s still frequently discussed, the industry’s focus has shifted to ‘Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning’. Implementing ML and AI solutions will help the industry to change its way of thinking and is likely to transform loads of well-established processes.
If Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are considered the next step for IT, it is important to make sure these solutions are built using reliable data warehouses. This is where Business Intelligence comes in.
Driven to do what it takes to stay on top, LACO is focused on building knowledge in this sector. This priority led a group of employees to participate in an AI oriented hackathon organized by SAS, a worldwide leader in analytics software and solutions. They came in second place, proving LACO’s ability to develop a quality analysis using cutting-edge technology.
Benjamin explaining the LACO case in the SAS EMEA Hackathon
4. Personal development
My first thoughts:
Topic I should definitely find out more about. Such an important part of my decision will be made based on this point. Ask as many questions as possible.
As a semi-professional sportsman, I need some freedom to manage my schedule. There are times when I need to train during the day or travel abroad for games and tournaments.
This was a delicate subject to bring to the table, but I instantly felt that LACO would support me in my sporting journey. And I’m happy to report that this feeling was spot on. I’ve received nothing but encouragement from my colleagues and management when it comes to fulfilling my sporting goals. This supportive mentality is spread across the entire company, whether you’re an accomplished sportsman or not. Everyone is given the chance to pursue their dreams in a positive and efficient way. For me, it has been truly amazing to work for a company that supports my personal ambitions as well as my professional goals.
How it started
The night before my first day, I was a real mess. I was so stressed about taking that big step. It felt like I made the wrong decision. I read about Business Intelligence all night and yet I thought ‘You know nothing, Jon Snow’. Thankfully, the onboarding went smoothly and my worries quickly vanished.
During my first few months, other newcomers arrived at LACO. We went through the onboarding process together and formed strong bonds along the way. We don’t really consider ourselves colleagues, it’s more like we’re a bunch of friends that happen to work together.
After some time building a BI knowledge base, I went on my first mission to a client and was delighted to discover how much I enjoyed working on-site.
How it’s going
Today, I smile when I think about my recruitment process, my first days, first months, first mission … Everything was set up to make me feel comfortable during every one of those steps. And I feel so grateful to work in a dynamic environment that lets me progress in my sporting life while continually pushing me to better myself professionally.
Millennials are seeking a different career path to the ones our parents knew, and LACO offers great opportunities that align with our modern values. Everyone is treated as a valued member of the team. At LACO, you’re able to become the best version of yourself, both within the company and in your personal life.
Junior SAS Developer at LACO