4 major steps in the career of Project Manager Olivier
1. IT summer school in the 80s
As a child, Olivier went to summer school to take IT classes. What was that like?
Olivier: “You can’t compare IT classes in the 80s to today’s study material. We learned to code on the precursor (yes, the precursor) of the famous Commodore 64. For me, that was enough to awaken my interest in informatics.”
“I never stopped taking IT classes, even in high school. Therefore it will not surprise you that in higher education, I started studying Informatics.”
2. Play it safe or trust your gut?
Olivier: “When I was a student, it was normal for companies, and especially banks, to demand access to student records. Then, they invited the best students to a job interview. I got invited to different interviews as well.”
But Olivier considered every offer carefully: “A bank offered me a job, but in the end, I changed my mind. To be honest: I didn’t want to write code from 9 to 5 in a basement. I didn’t like to program and was more interested in IT infrastructure.”
“I ended up at a small company as a helpdesk officer. It turned out to be the right call.”
3. From Amsterdam to Russia, and even the US
After working as a Support Engineer for a while, Olivier got a job at Xircom as a Network Engineer. When Intel took over Xircom in 2001, Olivier was offered some great career opportunities.
Olivier: “At Intel, I was a part of the EMEA network team, that focused on network infrastructure and connections in and between the different buildings and in different countries. I led different projects on a technical, functional and process level.”
Being able to travel was without a doubt the most important advantage of working at Intel, says Olivier: “I remember a certain acquisition in Russia. I assisted as a Network Engineer, but I’ve also vacuumed the data center. At such a time, it's part of the job: together, you work together towards a common goal, and you want everything to be perfect.”
“I was also responsible for the entire network infrastructure of a new distribution center in Amsterdam and lived in Russia for a while to assist in acquisitions and setting up new campuses. 1 of the Russian towns, far inland, wasn’t even on the map back then!”
Are you already a little jealous? Well, there’s more to tell: “I provided Wi-Fi training in Costa Rica and lived in California for a few months. The goal of this last project was to manage the Wi-Fi installation of all Intel buildings from 1 central point in the United States.”
4. Happy to start working for AUSY
Olivier: “I was working at Intel for 15 years when I needed a change. Almost immediately, I got in touch with AUSY Belgium. The warm welcome quickly convinced me to start working at AUSY. The account managers and recruiters take the time to get to know you. And that’s something not many other companies find important.”
From network specialist at Proximus…
His first project at AUSY? As an experienced network specialist, Olivier supervised a junior consultant at Proximus (back then still known as Belgacom).
“My project was supposed to last only a few months, but I worked there for about 6 years: first as a Network Engineer, and later as a Technical Solutions Consultant.”
Olivier continues: “Amongst others, I created and implemented tools for validation and quality assurance. Or as a coach, I built a bridge between a technical and administrative team to improve efficiency.”
…to Project Manager at the European Commission
“When my project at Proximus was about to end, my Account Manager asked me if I would like to start working at the European Commission as a Project Manager Security. Today, I've been working there for over a year and a half."
Olivier manages and coordinates security projects at DIGIT, the Directorate General for informatics: “On the one hand, our team manages the network infrastructure within the premises of the Commission, including the connections between the buildings. On the other hand, we’re responsible for securing that entire network.”
When we start talking about the future, Olivier tells us all about his dream to create an incubator for startups. He would love to offer promising startups a chance to evolve. Afterwards, the most successful initiatives can grow into a real company.
Olivier: “But before I can realize this dream, I will have to win the Euromillions jackpot!”