TaO IT Business Analyst,
Exec and Corporate Services, Netherlands
“After graduation, I was looking for a job at home in Brescia in Italy. I had a friend who worked at BAT and liked it, so she put my name forward as a potential Management Trainee. Moving abroad to Holland was an appealing prospect, but the main draw was the chance to start a career with a multinational. Logistically, the relocation was great – very smooth. Amsterdam is one of the easiest cities in Europe to settle in, I think, because it’s not too big, it’s very international and everyone speaks English.
“When I started as a trainee, I had rotating line managers and a mentor who followed my progress. I was lucky because I saw right from the start that I wanted to focus on Business Intelligence (BI), and most of my projects were geared towards it. I’ve been in BI since I started, as it fits in with my background in quantitative statistics. This is where my expertise now lies, and it’s why I’m appreciated by the company. I’m the ‘go-to’ person for anyone who wants help in this area.
“My very first assignment as a trainee was one to forget. It involved merging two data warehouses – one in Belgium and one in Holland. It was an unfortunate project and the merger never happened. I did think to myself, ‘Is this what it’s going to be like from now on?’ But it turned out to be a learning for future projects. I knew I’d done the best I could, and I’d shown that I could be tough and resilient in difficult circumstances.
“I work in a regional office, helping out groups across the whole of Western Europe. My team’s scattered across the region, so my international exposure is quite high. I go abroad once or twice a month so that I know what’s happening in all of these markets. There are many country-specific challenges to deal with, because every market has different regulations, and the data needs to be tweaked accordingly.
“BAT manages to operate in an entrepreneurial and dynamic way, as it has to be able to anticipate and react to the constant changes in the markets.
“If I ever moved on, I think I’d like to go to a company as big as this one (if that’s possible!). I would find it harder to leverage my experience in a smaller business. But in a bigger and more complex organisation, what I’ve learned here would go a long way.”