What’s it like to start as a junior consultant at Amsterdam Data Collective?

Henriette Claus started at the beginning of this year, after finishing her master’s degree in Econometrics at the Erasmus University RotterdamA lot has happened since then. This is what she says about her first project

Tell me about your first project.

I was very lucky! After completing my Quantitative Finance master in December, I really wanted to do a project in the financial sector. In February I started at NIBC Bank, located in The Hague. I joined a colleague who just finished up with a project, and was asked to do a project in another department. My first project is a combination of strategy and data science: with a team of in-house and ADC quants, we first re-design the overall modelling landscape, but then also develop and implement all newly required models!

What skills did you develop? 

Luckily for me, the project involves a lot of data and programming. I get the time to completely dig into the details and code a lot, which I really like. By making many hours, I feel like I’ve already considerably improved my programming skills. However, with mostly theoretical experience from university, sometimes it’s hard to find the balance between detailed analysis and practical implementation. Throughout the project, I feel that this balance is becoming better by focusing on in-between deliverables.

For developing soft skills, we had several trainings; for example, a public speaking training and an English writing training. These trainings are with the whole ADC team, in

cluding juniors and seniors, so you can see many different perspectives. Such a training is always on a Friday: the day we all work from our office in the Olympic Stadion.

Tell me something about guidance during your first period.

In your on-boarding process, you get assigned a mentor and a HR coach. After one month I sat down together my mentor for my personal development plan. What do I want to learn the coming period? How can I achieve this and where can ADC help me with this? The nicest thing about this is that you think about your development together with someone else, which gives you new ideas and expands your vision. Because you’re always working in a team, you’re guided pretty closely. For me, it’s very effective to work independently. Together with my Team Leader I discuss the structure and planning, after which I get the chance to dive into the details myself, which makes me very happy. But, when I get stuck or need help, of course there’s always a senior to go to.

Why did you choose to work at a startup?

I never thought I’d start my career at a startup, but for what I can see after a few months, I feel like I made the right choice. The flexibility and responsibility of a startup really suits me. It’s in our name and one of ADC’s core values; the “collective” feeling and thinking. Together we want to grow ADC and because we’re small, your input matters. For example, in the first months I already got the chance to be part of interviews for new team members and facilitate our JSUP (Junior Stand-Up). This weekly JSUP is a nice moment to share your experiences and learnings with all junior consultants.

How do you experience the balance between work at the client and at the ADC office?

The reason I chose consultancy was because I get the chance to see a lot of companies from ‘the inside’ in a short period of time. At NIBC and in other future projects, I can see how large organizations work from different perspectives. In general, you work half of the time at your client and half of the time at ADC. However, you have the freedom to increase working from the clients’ office when you feel this improves your work. I’m there at least twice a week, but when I have a meeting or want to work together with colleagues there, I can choose to work from there. At the same time, it’s very inspiring to work from ADC. Besides having trainings and Friday drinks, we share our different approaches and gained knowledge. After all, we’re all doing the same, just at a different client at a different project!

Contact:

hclaus@amsterdamdatacollective.com
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