“I find the industrial setting within Aurubis a very fascinating environment to work in as an IT professional.”
Olen | Monday, June 26, 2023
Our IT colleague Joyce recently celebrated her first work anniversary as Application Engineer at Aurubis Olen. IT Applications and the corresponding digitization of processes is a core part of the Aurubis strategy: digitization allows us to continuously improve and work more efficiently.
- Joyce Darimont
- 33 years old
- IT - Application Engineer
- Working at Aurubis Olen since May 2022
How did you end up at Aurubis?
Actually, I'm from Antwerp, but I moved to the Kempen region, specifically Herentals, for love. After commuting to Antwerp for a while, the commute started to get tiresome. So I was open to a new job closer to home. My boyfriend would like to work for Aurubis as he knows the company through his uncle, and that's what triggered me back then to look at the vacancies on the Aurubis website. There was an open position in IT, and the rest is history (laughs).
From a daily commute to Antwerp to a job just a few kilometers from home. How do you like it?
Very well! I cycle to work every day. I made that promise to myself and my boyfriend when I started here. Leasing a bike through Aurubis was quick and easy. Initially, I thought the rain would discourage me, but it's actually not that bad. Equipped with a sturdy rain suit, I brave all kinds of weather. After sitting all day, the exercise is more than welcome. It also means I can spend half an hour less at the gym, and I even receive a net bike allowance for it.
After working in IT consultancy for several jobs, you have now been working at a large, international multi-metal manufacturer for a year. How do you experience that transition?
It was quite new at first, of course. Aurubis uses a lot of abbreviations, such as the names of all the production departments, but gradually I am starting to get to know them all.
I find the industrial setting very fascinating. The way copper scrap arrives here, is recycled, and converted into high-purity copper products, the CU-Port where containers arrive by boat and are handled by colleagues from internal logistics, the trucks arriving and being weighed... There is a whole system behind everything. This is very different from, let's say, a company that wants to design a website to highlight a particular product. The process aspects in this company appeal to me; it is the processes that we are going to optimize or simplify through digitalization with the Application Engineers team.
Tell me, what exactly does a job as an Application Engineer entail?
Together with my colleagues Jan and Wim, we develop various applications and tools for internal customers to make their work smoother and more efficient. One example is the new planning tool. By consolidating existing and new functionalities into a new, efficient, and user-friendly application, we can greatly improve the production planning of this production line. I see an important role for our work in such an international environment as Aurubis.
The first phase is an analysis phase: we look at what the problem is and what is needed to solve it. Then we create "wireframes" to map all the existing functionalities. Afterwards, we create a user story that describes the actions a colleague takes to perform a task. Once we have created that, we proceed with the detailed elaboration. We design each system to allow easy scalability in case additional needs arise. The ideal application is developed when someone new to our company can start using it without needing any explanation.
Where does your passion for IT and technology come from?
That's a good question! (laughs) In high school, I studied 'Fashion and creation'. I didn't like sitting with my nose buried in books, so I loved spending 60-70% of my time sewing and stitching. When I had to choose a field of study in higher education, I was largely guided by the job opportunities. That's how I ended up studying 'multimedia and communication technology.' I found the first year difficult, especially math and physics. However, I caught up and studied hard. I learned programming at school, but you only learn by doing it frequently. After more than a year, something clicked, and I suddenly understood how to program logically. Day by day, I grew to like it more and more. It was then that I realized I would have been better off pursuing a technical direction in secondary school. I'm very happy with my choice for IT at the age of eighteen and with the job I'm doing now because of it!
Why do you enjoy working at Aurubis?
I ended up in a great team, which makes me enjoy coming to work every day. What I also really like is the system with clock hours. In previous jobs, I easily worked 50-52 hours per week, even though I had a 40-hour contract. The extra hours I accumulate at Aurubis can be taken at a later time, so they are not 'lost.' You also have the opportunity to convert your year-end bonus into additional vacation days. I think that's a great advantage as it helps maintain a good work-life balance.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I look forward to deepening and further developing myself. I enjoy taking additional IT courses because everything changes extremely quickly. At the same time, I find it very enriching that I can improve my interpersonal skills and have the opportunity to do so at Aurubis.
Did you know that Aurubis Olen has over 200 different jobs? From process technologist to (electro)mechanic to administrative assistant in one of our departments!
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