Emile Thieren is one of the most recent additions to the Agile Architects team. His curious and critical eye made him stand out when he applied for the job. Why the scepticism, though? We had a chat with Emile about his initial doubts and how the team managed to erase those immediately. Our feeling? Emile is here to stay.
What does your job as a Business Analyst entail exactly?
Emile Thieren (Business Analyst at Agile Architects): “My time is divided between information management for Zeticon (Partner of Agile Architects and part of the Cronos Group) and working as a Business Analyst on a project with the Flemish Government. I’ll probably always have those two types of roles, which is something I specifically asked for so it’s great that Tom and Evert were able to take my appetite for variation into account.”
How did you end up at Agile Architects?
Emile: “I was looking for a Business Analyst job in a consulting capacity when a recruiter from the Cronos Group contacted me. I have to admit: I was incredibly sceptic and expected the company to be way too technical to my liking. It seems a tad negative but I think that it’s actually why they became interested in me. I asked a bunch of genuine questions and was clearly looking for answers that would convince me to start working somewhere I could stay a long time.”
“Tom noticed that I had loads of questions left about the content of the job so he put me in contact with Steffi. That was incredibly helpful. Not every company walks the talk so it was great to have her put my mind at ease and tell me all about the company culture and the job. Subsequently, I had to pass a few tests, I met Evert and that was it. It was a smooth and nice process. I remember thinking: “I will really not waste away here in the same old function but I’ll always be able to grow.”
“They completely won me over because I totally believed in their vision and liked that they’re a start–up company with lots of different projects to offer their consultants. Apparently, they don’t believe in micromanagement and allow their consultants to work quite autonomously. In other words: they quickly dispelled all of my doubts so I was ready to rumble!”
What is the vibe within the team like?
Emile: “It feels like a tight-knit community even though we’re all consultants on our own projects. We meet every week and we’re encouraged strongly to come to the office on Fridays. That’s great because that way we keep the connection. I also work alongside some of the consultants so it never feels like a fragmented team. It was kind of Steffi to take it upon herself to check-in regularly at the beginning to see how I was doing. I feel, without it ever formally having been said, that I can count on all my colleagues to help or guide me.”
“You can say that knowledge sharing is a big part of our culture! In every weekly meeting, someone tells the group what they’re working on. We work on such complex projects sometimes that it’s crucial, of course, to be able to lean on each other, but still: it’s an incredible amount of talent, experience and expertise in this team. I am very impressed and glad that I’m a part of such a mix.”
Why would anyone want to work and stay at Agile Architects?
Emile: “I’ve been working here a month now and there are many reasons why I love doing what I do. The projects are always interesting, you keep on learning every day, you’re encouraged to offer your point of view and in fact they show that they take your considerations into account. The conversations are consistently interesting, my colleagues inspire me … I honestly don’t see why I wouldn’t stay.”
“I’m generally not the kind of person who thinks their job title is important but many of my colleagues have moved me to the point of dreaming about the future. As for now, I’m still at a learning stage and cultivating expertise, of course. I’m convinced, though, that Tom and Evert will continually support my ambitions and make sure that I stay focused and happy. If anything, that is why I’m sure I’ll be staying for a long time.”