At Mendix no day is the same, and for Abel it is a fast career journey. He tells what life at Mendix looks like for him.
Can you please introduce yourself? I am Abel Verweg, 27, and I joined Mendix 1,5 years ago. During my master Innovation Management at the Erasmus University I got fascinated about how fast digital technologies move forward while very little people understand how it works. What fascinated me most was that in the software industry the usual suspects do not always win, it is like a three-dimensional chess game in which you can be creative. To be able to participate in this game I first wanted to get hands-on experience with actually building apps. At Mendix you can quite easily become an App Maker. After 5 months I was flying throughout Europe to build apps at customers. ‘Go make it’ was not lie.
As a person I love to be active and have a good laugh. At Mendix I have set-up company cross-fit together with two colleagues. This brings people throughout the organisation together. Mendix sponsors this initiative and with 40+ active participants it is a big hit!
The past 1 ½ years have been quite a journey for you and more to come. Please tell me more
I joined Mendix in a kind of a Talent Program. The Program as it looks like now is more structured and organized. When I came in as a Trainee, everything was open and customised based on my strengths and ambitions. As I had studied business, I wanted to start by developing a more technical skillset and I joined the Expert Services team. I learned how to build production worthy apps – I even became a certified Mendix Trainer – and I was active as a Consultant. The technical understanding enabled me to move to a more strategic role as Product Marketing Manager recently. Here we translate the technology R&D builds into the story that sales can use to sell and position our product.
Being a Trainee, is there a typical working day or week?
In my role of Consultant I usually went to the airport to travel to customers in the EU on Monday and returned on Thursday. Friday was our ‘holy day’ to catch up with the team, spend time with more senior people to learn from and of course to have fun together. One of the projects my colleague and I worked on was building a mission critical app for a Fortune 500 company. We succeeded in a period of 7 months – with a Net Promoter score of 10/10 – without both of us having a technical background.
What a typical work day/week looks like in my current role? This varies: from talking to customers to understand how our story resonates to presenting to new hires or sales colleagues. While writing this story I am in Boston while the week after I will be in London. It sounds cheesy but not a single day has been the same so far.
What do you love about Mendix? And what don’t you like?
I love that the Mendix culture is open and family-like. We are still just a medium-size fast growing company, so it is easy to walk over to a different team and get help. People really want to help each other because we are here to win the market together. It doesn’t matter if you prefer to walk on your socks or in a suit in the office, at Mendix people look at your ideas and effort. Rapid growth means that there is a lot of positive energy.
What I sometimes found frustrating were moments when I didn’t have an external project to work on. In Expert Services we depend on sales for new projects. During those times I would do online courses or work on internal projects. Of course, growing fast means having growing pains in a company, so things aren’t always as structured as I would like.
What kind of skills do you need to grow your career within Mendix?
I found being pro-active and dare to share your ideas very valuable. Many things are possible, but you need to step up with solutions and show that you care. Furthermore, I think you should not take yourself too seriously. There are many intelligent people at Mendix but at the end of the day they all like to have a good laugh. I mean, what is your day worth if you didn’t have a good laugh?
What kind of goals do you have? where might you go from here?
I joined Mendix to conquer and work around the world, so setting up an office in Asia is high on my list. Currently I work in Boston every 2 months so that’s why I would like to work in Asia. In 3 or so years from now I will maybe have my own business or team in the software industry. We’ll see, for now I am enjoying my time at Mendix.
Also interested in a traineeship at a scale-up? https://careercafe.nl/category/traineeship/