Starter in the spotlight: Laure Berth

What did you study, Laure?

I did the commercial engineer in business informatics course. This course focuses
on the role of information technology in business. It trains you to bridge the gap between business operations and the digital world: software, computer networking and database management.

How has your career been so far?

Laure Berth

When I graduated last year in June, I worked for a consulting firm as an analyst for a few months. I quickly realised that it wasn't my thing. I didn’t think I was learning enough and I didn’t feel challenged.

I had already been in contact with KBC while I was still a student. Then, on LinkedIn, I saw they were looking for a functional analyst in IT, I applied and was able to start working quickly.

I'm now working on the Rainbow programme, which focuses on building a central data warehouse for KBC's local and group entities. The aim is to make internal reporting and reporting to regulators, such as the European Central Bank, quick and efficient, and right first time.

Within Rainbow, I'm part of the Data Quality team. The job is quite varied because colleagues regularly come to us with a question or problem and then it's nice to be able to help them. Data quality has far-reaching consequences, so you often get involved. The scope of our work keeps expanding.

What appealed to you about the functional analyst role?

I love to work out how things interweave with each other. For example, scrutinising a process and figuring out how all the elements are connected. Or looking for the cause of a problem so you can find a good solution. These aspects keep coming back in this job.

Rainbow wasn't actually a conscious choice. And neither was I familiar with regulatory reporting, but it's a very interesting domain. The issues concerning the reporting processes fascinate me and I like to see how you arrive at solutions for these problems.

What were your expectations when you started at KBC?

Actually, I was afraid I wouldn't like this job either. Functional analysis is quite technical and I wondered whether I would be good at it. It's turned out to be exactly what I was looking for: I'm learning a great deal and the work is certainly challenging.

The people I know who are KBC customers – and who know the Kate app – are very curious about what I do. They know the bank is always innovating. Other people think I have a boring job where I sit at a computer all day, but when I tell them exactly what I do they find that fascinating.

And rightly so, because this job is anything but boring. And neither is the company culture. There's a good mix of starters and experienced colleagues, and together we want to bring about change. And there's a very relaxed atmosphere here. For example, last week we went to Antwerp for a city walk and a meal together. That was fun to do as a team.

And it’s great to be in the office too. One day a week we're all in Brussels for the team day. For the rest of the week, you can decide for yourself whether you work from home or one of the other offices. I like to work from home for two days and then spend the other two days in Leuven.

What do you think would make you stay with KBC for you entire career?

For me, a job must offer life-long learning and I want to be constantly challenged. These are two aspects in which KBC supports its employees. You can follow internal and external courses, there are regular meetings during which you can discuss whether things are going well or not and whether you feel you're being stretched enough. What's more, there are plenty of opportunities to steer your career in any direction you want.

But it's hard to say what the future will bring! For now, I'm just focusing on getting off to a good start. Later on, I'd perhaps like to specialise in one aspect of my work and make the next grade.

I'm working in a particularly technical field which is evolving very rapidly, so it's impossible to know now what opportunities lie around the corner.

Do you have any tips for people looking for their first job?

Personally, I think looking for your first job is a difficult process. As a student, you don't have much contact with the business world. So, I would suggest, map out your interests and compare them to job openings. That will help you see whether a job is likely to be a match for you. But don't put worry about this too much. Of course, your first job is important, but you can always do something else, and often with the same employer.

In the end, whether you're happy with your choice will depend on many factors. Besides the job content, you also have colleagues, the atmosphere, the company culture. For me, I've really landed on my feet where I am now. There's an open culture, input is appreciated and I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't want to explain something to me. I've noticed that I really like going to work, and I think that's the most important aspect for me.

Would you like to join Laure and work at KBC? Check out our vacancies.