Kim van Olderen
Making our colleagues’ jobs easier around the world
IT is perhaps not the most obvious place to end up when you’ve studied Accountancy but it’s the route taken by Kim van Olderen, who’s now right at home as a product owner at ING Tech Infra.
Kim first got to know ING in 2006, when LogicaCMG seconded her to support project management. It was in her next assignment with the VGZ insurance company that she came into contact with IT. “I immediately felt at home, despite all the jargon and the fact that I was a young woman while practically all my colleagues were men,” says Kim. “I was interested in getting an understanding of what was going on in the IT arena and translating that to the business. Eventually I was managing a team of six in project management support. I became a project manager, but after a time I was ready for something different. I seized the exciting challenge at ING Tech with both hands.”
“Since the end of 2018 I’ve been working as a product owner at Infra, in the Cloud Tribe. We provide the private cloud on which the ING organisation hosts its products and services. Our clients are the DevOps engineers who manage ING’s applications. We work globally, for all the countries in which ING operates, and we’re an international tribe with colleagues in the Netherlands, Germany and Poland.”
Planning and focus
“My strength lies not in bits and bytes, but in clearly understanding wishes and requirements, planning and helping my teams to maintain their focus. A large part of my work involves surveying our users’ needs and demands, for example with regard to Object Storage and SQL services. I turn these requirements into a roadmap and my team builds the services. We work on demand, but above all we’re proactive; we make sure we’re up to date with the latest developments and see how we can use them to make our colleagues’ work and our own work easier and more automated.”
“My two teams are very diverse, in terms of content, composition and maturity. They’re all men (at the moment!), but their backgrounds are very varied. There’s even someone in my team with a background in theatre studies who’s now doing an IT traineeship. I myself have recently done a course in a slightly unusual subject – neurolinguistic programming (NLP) – through ING. I came across it during a soft skills training course. That’s when I also discovered how much I enjoy painting as a way to relax.”
“It’s amazing how much attention ING focuses on your well-being, so you can perform to the best of your ability, both personally and professionally. That’s all the more evident during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, ING has let me plan my own hours to ensure there’s sufficient time for work but also to care for my son.”
Kim studied for two and a half years as a chartered accountant and then switched to International Business Studies before joining LogicaCMG. In addition to her work, she devotes time to her son, husband and dog. She does kickboxing and took up running during the coronavirus outbreak. She also paints and likes trying out new recipes.