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  • Upiek Sumanti RiptoningrumNationality: Indonesian
  • Age: 41
  • Field of study: Medical Informatics
  • Current employer: Koninklijke Kentalis
  • Current position: IT Advisor on Innovation

Why I started my career in the Netherlands
My husband is Dutch and we decided to start a family and live in the Netherlands. I am not a housewife-kind of woman so I started to apply for jobs right away. And of course, started a Dutch language course too! Because I intended to live here and I wanted to work in healthcare, to master the Dutch language was very important to me and for a career in Health/IT.
 
I didn't have a paid job until my second year. In my first year I worked as a volunteer at the VanAbbe Museum and the nursing home Dommelhoef in Eindhoven.
 
I started with a job below my education level because my previous work experiences weren’t acknowledged, my Dutch was not good enough and I just wanted to work! I just grabbed my chances to move forward.
 
I have been working for eight years now and in that time I changed my job function four times.
 
A typical work week
Since two weeks I work partly as Product Owner in the Business Intelligence (BI) team. We develop our own BI system and we practice scrum in developing the BI solutions. Monday and Tuesday are my BI days: daily scrum stand-up meetings, checking the product backlog, meeting with the BI stakeholders and discussing product refinement with the team.
 
Wednesday morning I bring my kids to school and then work from home. I get updated with the company and innovation in healthcare newsfeed and get some administration done.
 
Thursday is my meeting day. Inspiring colleagues, brainstorming, attending some innovation events. 
 
My current interests are entrepreneurship, lean start-up and design thinking. Leadership and new business development have caught my attention too.
 
I work on Friday every two weeks since this week. Those days I focus on seeking inspiration and completing the to-do list of the week.
 
Cool projects
Last year I won the Best Concept award with the ‘TOS Triage Kit’ at the Internet of Things Hackathon event in Eindhoven. The idea was shifting the diagnosis process from inside the care organisation to home; a familiar and safe place for the children.
 
Some children behave differently outside their home; for speech or behaviour diagnosis it is important that children follow the instructions or do some tests. If they won’t do that, this could lead to longer observation time and drive up the personnel cost. It could lead to wrong diagnosis too.
 
I wanted to apply the Internet of Things for the observation of language development at home. We didn’t come up with a working prototype, but I am keeping this idea alive with the TheYellowBear project.
 
I want to combine wearables with machine learning, speech analysis AND more involvement from parents on the speech and language development of their children.
 
Interested? Contact me! 
 
What I like about the Dutch work mentality
I have been working at a typical Dutch healthcare institution for eight years now. There aren’t many expats working at my company.
 
What I like the most about Dutch work mentality is their egalitarian culture. They bring others coffee and employees can talk freely with their managers.
 
Dutch people mostly separate their work and private life. But they keep the working atmosphere gezellig. If it’s a sunny day they will walk with a group of colleagues during lunch breaks. Some companies hold a regular borrel hour (informal social drink get-together) once a month. 
 
My career advice to you
Follow your heart and passion! There are many roads lead to Rome. Don’t focus on one channel; open your eyes and ears. Go networking and build relationships with people.
 
If you help someone, someone else will help you eventually; also in your career. Sharing is caring.
 
When you are stuck, you may need to just start small and move forward. Pivot your way to your career!
 
And join my project! ;-)
 
Want to connect?!