Why join

This month, Finaps was happy to welcome five new team members to the Finaps Team. Among them are Jaimie, who joined us as a Business Engineer and Job, who has become part of our innovative team "Labs".

They met Finaps on one of our in-house days when Kraket interviewed them on their experience.
Date: 09-2019
Kraket interviewed Jaimie Rutgers and Job den Otter (Meet Our Team) in light of the In-house day and their future employment at Finaps. Both are Econometrics students at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. In this interview, they will share the ins and outs of getting to know Finaps as a great company to work for

Could you give a short introduction of yourselves?

Jaimie: I am a third-year Econometrics Bachelor student and I live in Diemen. Due to my board year at Kraket it will take me 4 years to finish my bachelor. I hope to complete my Bachelor by the end of next year.

Job: I am currently in the last year of my Econometrics Bachelor. I live in Utrecht with my girlfriend and I will stay there for the time being.
How would you describe Finaps?

Jaimie: I see Finaps as a small-scale professional company even though now it is not as small as it used to be. Finaps has a family atmosphere, it is truly "gezellig" (cosy). What I really like is that it is a creative company where everyone is very open and inclusive. Finaps goes beyond simply providing clients with data or software solutions. They distinguish themselves by creating frontrunning apps, using the newest software and working in a close partnership with their clients. After having visited numerous companies within this sector, I believe that this is what makes Finaps unique.

Job: I agree! What stands out to me is the diversity of the employees in all aspects!

Jamie Rutgers: After combining a board year with studying, he hopes to finish his bachelor next year along with working at Finaps.

How well did you know Finaps before you visited the In-house day?

Jaimie: I got acquainted with Finaps through my board year at Kraket. They are one of our main sponsors, so we had close contact throughout the year. In addition, I went to the In-house day last year so I knew them fairly well

Job: I did not know Finaps very well until the Inhouse day

Could you tell us more about the inhouse day?

Job: We were welcomed with sandwiches for lunch. First, Finaps gave an introduction on what they do with an example of the project they are currently working on for ING. Shortly after we started the case where we had to create a beer app. It was a fun challenging case. The idea was that we would program both the back- and the front-end in a couple of hours. The front-end language, JavaScript, was not very familiar to us. For the back-end programming most of us are used to Spyder, but they used Jupyter Notebook. Jupyter Notebook makes it very easy to load programs via a server instead of sending individual Python files. The new front-end language, back-end programming and trying to understand the already written code made this case a challenge. Nonetheless, I believe that everyone did a great job and it was both an interesting and challenging case.

Jaimie: It was a challenging case indeed. I spoke with Lonneke Makhija – Managing Director and Founder of Finaps. She explained that Finaps used to work a lot in Mendix which is a very visual platform; "What you see is what you get". Because they are currently moving towards open-source software, they wanted to show this to the students. I believe this was the intention of the 'beer app' case. To get a feeling of programming was indeed very challenging, let alone to make something yourself. However, that doesn't take away that the idea behind it was very interesting. The whole idea of creating a beer application with a dataset containing customer reviews, types of beer, alcohol percentages, etc, was very intriguing. It was nicely tailored to students and many were able to come up with creative applications. I remember we had done something with a medical dataset last year, I definitely preferred this year.

Job den Otter: Alongside starting his master, Job looks to gain valuable experience by working at Finaps.
What made the In-house day interesting?

Jaimie: I really enjoyed the challenge. When I was looking at the files, I wanted to understand what had been coded already and how it was operating. In addition, our group was simultaneously working on the front-end and the back-end from the start, which gave our group an advantage as we were able to finish both parts in time. I really enjoyed to sit down and focus on the coding, which at the start is just messing around and processing errors until it works. And the atmosphere was just really great. The In-house day gave me the feeling that we were at a mini hackathon.

Job: I was a little less concerned with the JavaScript side, but I did understand and learn parts of JavaScript. The atmosphere was great, I could really appreciate that all the employees are appreciated for their different strengths and weaknesses.
What department within Finaps will you be working for?

Jaimie: This has not been decided yet. On the website of Kraket they have 3 openings for Econometricians: Data Analyst, Business Engineer, and Technical Business Engineer. I will be working as Business Engineer.

Job: Finaps has just moved to a relatively new structure with teams. Each team takes on different projects because each project requires different skills. They are fixed teams with different specialties within each team. I do not yet know with what team I will be working, but I think I would prefer to work with Python and React over working with Mendix.

What do you expect to learn by working at Finaps?

Jaimie: I think the biggest aspect that I am going to learn is the more practical side of my education. I notice that what we learn at the VU is very theoretical. Most students have little insight into what they can do with all the knowledge they have gained during their studies. Specifically, I hope to make the transition from University to the job market more easily by gaining valuable practical experience.

Job: For me, it is mainly broadening my basic knowledge. Developing applications and websites are very basic, also in our study. However, it is something that I have zero knowledge of. I currently do not know how to create a website. Hopefully, I will soon.
How did the application process work at Finaps?

Jaimie: During the drinks of the In-house day I approached Lonneke and asked what the possibilities were for me at Finaps. We had a brief conversation that evening and as agreed, I contacted her shortly after via LinkedIn. Next, I was requested to send my resume, after which I was invited for an interview. The interview was with Marlies van Sonsbeek – Managing Partner. The interview was still a bit difficult because what I wanted and what Finaps wanted did not quite match yet. Together we puzzled and eventually, the right match came out, soon I will start my job at Finaps.

Job: I got a LinkedIn message from Lonneke after the In-house day and decided to pursue the mutual interest and messaged Lonneke. I first had an interview with Marlies, which was mainly orientationally. To Finaps it was important that I could work a few days more a week, which is why I agreed to start working four days a week. Finally, we had a phone call and I visited once more after which I received a contract.
Lastly, which students would you recommend considering Finaps as an employer?

Jaimie: What Finaps has told me and what I also believe in are the following two aspects. Firstly, you do not have to be excellent at anything, you should much rather be open and ambitious to learn new things. There are many examples of employees who came at Finaps with the ambition to learn new programming languages, for example.

Secondly, I believe the other aspect is creativity. Finaps gives you the opportunity to use your creativity, which is something I enjoy doing. In short, I believe ambition to learn new things and creativity are the two personality traits that would describe the students who would suit working at Finaps.
Job: I believe that they are looking for authentic people. People with an opinion who dare to say what they think, because this is important in a small company. Furthermore, you should be passionate about programming, otherwise, I would recommend you look for something else.

Jaimie: Yes, indeed you have to like programming. If you do not know JavaScript, then you have to like programming enough to dive down and learn it.

This article was initially posted in the SECTOR magazine by Kraket. Thank you for the great partnership and we are looking forward to the next in-house day!
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