Andreea: ‘To live and work in another country really helps you grow’
Andreea Bunduc has been working as an AX and D365 developer at HSO International for around 5 years. She is glad that she is no longer the only woman-in-tech at the company, however she would love to welcome more female colleagues. Her number one tip for new colleagues, settling in the Netherlands? To learn Dutch! Please read more about Andreea’s career at HSO.
Andreea, could you tell us a bit more about your background and how you landed at HSO?
‘I am from Romania, where I studied Business Information Systems. I was always good at things like maths and physics, so a technical study felt like a natural choice for me. IT was the place to be in those years, especially in Eastern Europe, and the university had connections with quite a few IT companies. Through one of my internships I did a project for HSO USA. When my husband, who is a scientist, had the opportunity for a PhD position in the Netherlands, I decided to follow him. HSO USA connected me with HSO International, and that’s how I landed here.’
Moving here, there were probably quite a few things you had to get used too?
‘As a developer (or technical consultant), I was the first woman in a technical role at HSO International. That was a bit of a shock to me, because in Romania, the ratio of men and women in technical studies and at IT-companies is more balanced. But HSO International was a lot smaller back then, around 20 people. Over the past few years we have grown a lot, we are with around 100 people today and a lot more of whom are women.
Another thing I really had to get used to is the Dutch ‘cold’ lunch. I am very happy that at the new office, we have lovely facilities for warm food too. And what to think of the Dutch habit of having to make an appointment for everything, all the time? However, I must admit that this habit rather fits me, because I like planning and structure, as you can see in my work.’
Speaking of work, can you tell a bit more about your role and projects?
‘I love working on various kinds of projects, in all corners of the world. Although I don’t travel as much as the functional consultants, I get my share. I enjoy getting to know different industries and ways of working. It can be frustrating sometimes to get the processes aligned, for example when I work with developers from organizations outside our own, since they have their own way of working. But that also motivates me, I like to be involved in streamlining processes and organizing a team.
With almost 10 years of working experience, I am now growing from technical consultant into the role of lead developer and technical architect, which I like very much. I also enjoy working with Microsoft applications, because it gives me the opportunity to work with new, leading technology.
I am not the kind of developer who wants to write code only. Instead, I want to build the bridge between the business and the application. I think you should understand the business processes that go around the code, in order to get the system to really support its users. So, before I start on a project, I want to understand the customer’s business and strategy.’
Regarding your career so far, what are you proud of?
‘I am proud that I am one of the few senior women at HSO International. I am also proud of my most recent project, for a South African company, where I was technical lead consultant. We collaborated with a lovely team with great results!’
What kind of new colleagues are you looking for at HSO International?
‘We have so many different people, from different countries and nationalities. Therefore, you need to be open-minded and not afraid of challenges. I always enjoy the atmosphere at the office, with so many different cultures. At lunch we share our experiences and of course we tease each other now and then.’
Any tips for people who consider joining HSO International?
‘When I moved to the Netherlands, I had to get used to a lot of things. But the challenges you face when moving to another country really help you grow. You get out of your comfort zone. If I may give one tip it would be to learn Dutch. I did not take a decent course at the start of my, and I see it as missed opportunity.’