Who are these people who consciously choose to work in the pension sector? What do they do there all day for your pension? And what do they like about their work? We like to take you behind the scenes. This time Kevin Bex (23), systems engineer at APG. “In IT you're always facing new challenges, which keeps it interesting.”
“System engineer”, that sounds impressive. What exactly do you do in that job?
“I work in the storage management and backup & recovery department. Our main task is to ensure that there is always sufficient storage capacity for all types of data. We check daily that the storage is not overflowing and that there are no malfunctions. Of course, we fix the latter as soon as possible. We also look at how we can improve our infrastructure. And I’m involved in vulnerability management, a fancy term for managing vulnerabilities in the system.”
How did you end up at APG?
“After graduating from high school, I chose to study ICT in college. I am interested in the role of technology in our changing world and believe that a career in IT offers many growth opportunities. Before I graduated, I did a 20-week internship at APG. A look at the website convinced me that this would be the right company for me. They appeared to have a large in-house IT department. Another advantage is that it is practically around the corner from me; I live in Heerlen.”
And how did you like it?
“I loved it. I felt right at home here and quickly got the opportunities to work on interesting projects. During my internship project, I investigated the possibilities of offering object storage for APG. This involves storing files as objects, each of which has its own key so that you can always find them. It is an efficient way to store large amounts of data.”
Apparently, they appreciated you too, because you’re now employed at APG.
“Right. Towards the end of my internship, when I was asked if I’d like to work at APG, I didn’t have to think long. I had been considering going for a master’s degree. But ultimately, it seemed more useful to me to get work experience and to keep learning more inside APG by taking courses that are often offered here. I’ve been working here since July.”
You’re 23. Isn’t it boring to work for a pension administrator?
“Before I started working here, I was a bit worried about that, because, to be honest, I was not particularly interested in retirement yet. But the work is really anything but boring. In the IT department you have little to do with pension-related matters and you are mainly occupied with technology. And that is very interesting to me.”
What do you like about your work?
“That it’s challenging. IT is constantly in motion; it keeps changing. What we know now may be totally different in five years. As a result, you constantly face new challenges; you have to be able to constantly adapt. That keeps it interesting.”
What character traits do you have that make you right for this job?
“I think I’m agile, and that’s a big plus with the new pension system coming up. The new system brings a huge increase in data, and we need to be able to facilitate the storage of that in the background. That’s a big challenge we’re facing right now. I think it also helps that I am still at the beginning of my career and can deal with change more easily because I haven’t been used to the old system for years.”
What do you do when you’re not at work?
“I used to play table tennis a lot; I might want to pick that up again. I was once the Limburg champion, but I stopped playing when I started college. I currently work out three times a week at the gym. I also program small projects at home, as a hobby. And I enjoy gaming sometimes.”
How are pension participants affected by your work?
“If we do our job right, they don’t notice our work at all. We make sure all the important data is carefully stored in the background, so that files can always be easily found, even if there is an attack on our systems. Everything is duplicated. Copies of all data are stored at an external location. In the event of a disaster, this way the latest state of the data can be restored. We do help ensure that every pension participant gets paid automatically on a certain date.”