Jelle Nijkamp (26) has always been eager to learn. He found his academic years enriching, providing personal and professional development, and a space to explore his interests. However, he notes that working life is even more enjoyable. After completing his business studies with a digitalization specialization at the University of Twente, Jelle entered the professional world. He shares his experience of this transition with enthusiasm.
As a high school student, Jelle Nijkamp already worked part-time in the transportation industry. He started as an order picker and advanced to a transport planner, responsible for the warehouse and drivers on the road. After high school, he continued his studies in Technical Business Administration at Saxion in Deventer and Business Administration – Digital Business at the University of Twente in Enschede.
While studying, Jelle gained extensive experience in the logistics field, but he notes that full-time work is quite different. “The transition from school to working life was quite smooth,” he says. “There’s more structure in daily life, and the work is varied. It takes some time to adjust and find your way. But ultimately, you get to apply in practice what you’ve learned in theory, which makes working life especially enjoyable.”
A New Era
At newITera, they were ready for fresh insights and new dynamics, which led to Jelle strengthening their team as a logistics consultant. “newITera has a tight-knit team, fostering an informal atmosphere, which I find to be a great environment to start in as a consultant. It’s important to me to not only work hard but also to share laughs with colleagues,” he explains.
Before Jelle started handling his own clients, he worked internally at newITera. “Of course, you don’t start exactly where you hope when you leave school; this requires some patience. Starting internally at newITera was a pleasant beginning to my career. I was involved in writing down internal business processes and marketing activities, which helped me to get to know the company well.” This initial phase allowed Jelle time to explore and learn, during which he achieved various certifications in SAP Extended Warehouse Management and Agile Methodology, like Scrum Master. “I’ve had a lot of room and freedom within newITera to express where my interests lie, allowing me to further develop in these areas.”
IT of Vital Importance
Jelle enjoys the variety in his work, as he is currently engaged in multiple different projects simultaneously. Since January 2022, he has been working for a multinational in medical technology, one of the larger clients of newITera. “I act more as a linking pin between IT and business. First, I gather requirements from within the organization, then translate these into a design. This design is then validated with the business and implemented in the system either through configuration or by having it developed by the developers. Once changes in the system are made, we test to see if the new processes function properly. If these tests are successful, the user then starts working with it, so we can see if the users can work with the new processes too. It’s quite a process, but successfully completing such a project gives a great sense of satisfaction!”
The client Jelle is currently working with is one of the world’s largest companies in medical technology, primarily serving hospitals. One of the projects he coordinates involves setting up small, international warehouses. “These warehouses are located close to the clients. If a medical product fails, a replacement must be available as quickly as possible. With a small warehouse near the client, such replacements can be quickly delivered. This illustrates how logistics and IT can be literally life-saving.”
A Round Trip to Heerlen
The client Jelle works for is located in Heerlen, meaning a single trip for him takes 2.5 hours of driving. Jelle does not see this travel as a problem, but rather as a unique opportunity. “Almost weekly, I travel to Heerlen and stay overnight,” he says. “Traveling is part of being a consultant. Not everything comes easily; sometimes you have to invest in your own development. Landing a large international client doesn’t just happen. Fortunately, newITera is also willing to think along when the client is far away, and that support is appreciated!”
IT Boring and Dull? Not at All!
Naturally more inclined towards logistics and business administration, Jelle’s entry into the IT world was somewhat accidental. “It happened by chance. My uncle works at newITera, and they were looking for a logistics consultant just as I graduated. After several good conversations, it turned out to be the perfect fit for me: combining business administration, logistics, and IT.” This blend still appeals to Jelle. “What really excites me about the IT world is the innovation. You’re actively involved in innovating and setting up the logistics chain. Plus, technology is always evolving. There might be something new tomorrow that we can utilize. With IT, you make an immediate impact.”
Jelle has now fully found his place in the field. “What I want to impart to everyone? IT is really not boring or outdated. It’s a powerful tool for elevating organizations and the logistics chain. So don’t be afraid to take the plunge: there’s a place for everyone in IT!”