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16 January 2020

Neil found his place

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At Dynamic People they think outside the box, provide exciting opportunities, and everyone is offered an equal chance of career development”

Customer Engagement Specialist Neil Kersten – born in 1973, Johannesburg South Africa – has found his niche here

 

“The Netherlands is a tolerant country, but you have to be willing to integrate. Otherwise you remain on the outside looking in, and that can only be considered as a missed opportunity,” says Neil Kersten, who joined Dynamic People in May 2018.

The CRM Specialist considered his options carefully and took the plunge. After completing his studies – Computer Programming & Development – in Cape Town, he spent some time working for Great Plains, which was bought by Microsoft in 2004 and became part of the CRM solution. “After that I joined a start-up company. The founder was a pure salesman and he brought me in as a partner to shape and lead the technical side of the business. That was extremely instructive because that’s how I had to learn to deal with everything which came my way. As a Microsoft CRM Technical Specialist, I was involved in all facets of business operations, both for ourselves and for our clients.”

Why did you push the boundaries?

“We sold to South African clients and there’s nothing wrong with that, but the world is a bigger place and I wanted to discover and push my boundaries. I saw a lot of Microsoft colleagues moving abroad and that was the catalyst for action. My father is originally from Arnhem, so I set my sights on the Netherlands.” Through Nigel Frank, the main recruitment player at 365 professionals, Neil came across Dynamic People. “I sent off my CV and after a few conversations with Oscar Zeekant and Jeroen Bunck, we came to a satisfactory agreement. We sold our company in South Africa and Dynamic People entered the process of seeking to employ me as a skilled migrant.” Oscar Zeekant: “That involves so much red tape, but if you have faith in one other, you don’t mind the inconvenience too much.”

I left everything behind and started anew

In the spring of 2018 Neil flew over with his wife and three daughters. “We have a close-knit family and see this as our shared adventure. I always tell everyone that you must get the most out of life, that everything is a challenge and that you must dare to make choices. The Netherlands is a beautiful country to live in. Our two youngest children go to a regular school here. Due to the daily contact with their peers, they are easily learning the language and the oldest attends an international school so that is all very well arranged. Of course, we sometimes suffer from homesickness, but social media shortens the distance between friends and family. These days, you don’t say goodbye forever.”

You can achieve your potential here

Neil was negotiating with several parties at the time, including some very large ones. “But I had and still have the best feeling about Dynamic People. That started with the first glance of the website which makes it very clear that this is a closely knit club of like-minded people. Our company in South Africa was smaller, but everything I learned there I can also apply here.” Neil started work with huge enthusiasm but understood at the same time that both parties needed to get used to each other.

“I knew what I wanted, but that wasn’t immediately achievable. I had to show what I was capable of. I’m used to making my mark on a project, I want to give direction and really contribute to make sure we deliver the right results. My tip to anyone who changes job and country? Keep believing in yourself, know you can add something that others can’t. Show the best of yourself, then the opportunities will follow. I’m a runner – ultraruns and marathons – so I know you shouldn’t always start too fast. Now I’m involved as lead consultant in several projects, including those for Amsterdam Commodity Trading, so now I’m completely in my element.”

Incorporating a helicopter view on projects

“I look at the whole picture and have an opinion about many things and I want to share these opinions with others, so these days I am broadly involved in pre-sales, account management, CRM strategy, design and implementation. I haven’t regretted the move for a moment. The corporate culture within Dynamic People is how I had hoped it would be. Lovely, ambitious people who will be there for you during thick and thin. We also do a lot together; once a year we take part in a fun company outing and as a sportsman I particularly enjoy running the Dam tot Dam race with colleagues. Dynamic People is a company where everyone has the opportunity to grow.