Two Valcon colleagues about their promotion and career

05 August 2022 3 min. read

In its midyear promotion round, the Dutch wing of Valcon promoted over twenty consultants to the next level. Two of the lucky promotees – Herman Stehouwer and Mirte Freriks – share their journey at the firm so far and their ambitions for the future.

Herman Stehouwer joined Valcon six years ago and has now made the step up to Senior Principal within the firm’s data capability. He works as an internal customer representative, model builder and lead on a project focused on applying language processing in documentation.

Mirte Freriks meanwhile started her Valcon career around two years ago and has been promoted to Senior Consultant within the firm’s business process capability. After working as a business analyst at a utility company, she recently started as project lead at a fresh utility client.

Herman Stehouwer and Mirte Freriks - Valcon

What is the most challenging project you have worked on?

Herman: “We did a chatbot project at an insurance company for which the chatbot had to move to production very quickly, despite resistance within the organisation. Especially the resistance and time pressure made it challenging because on the one hand, you do not want to antagonise the employees, while on the other hand, you want to satisfy the client.”

“In addition, another challenge could be found in the many tweaks and security and compliance requirements for the chatbot. Eventually, we succeeded in bringing the chatbot to production in three months.”

Mirte: “When I started at Valcon, I started a project for a utility company. Although it was not our intention to work on this project for a long time, I eventually stayed here for two years, and worked on several consecutive projects in the meantime. The most challenging for me was to dive deeply into the content and, at the same time, keep the overview and coordinate the project.”

“In addition, the projects had a lot of tight deadlines we had to meet, which was challenging as well.”

What gives you the most energy within Valcon?

Mirte: “In the projects I am working on, I like to discover what is happening on a detailed level and focus on the possible solutions for existing problems. I also enjoy guiding and helping others in achieving this, which I have been able to do in the past year.”

Herman: “The variety of activities, in which I get to support young colleagues, have plenty of contact with the client and am able to demo specific cases and products to enthuse the client. I also enjoy the combination of production, implementation and embedding of artificial intelligence in existing organisations.”

Wat are your ambitions for the upcoming year?

Herman: “I would like to get at least two summarization of customer calls projects at my client into production. This will benefit the client, because the automatic language processing has great impact and provides direct interaction with the employees in the call centre. On a personal level, I have set the goal of finishing my synthesizer this year.”

Mirte: “I’m looking forward to succeeding in my role as project lead at my new client. What I enjoy about this role is that I am involved in running the project from the very start until the end.”