I found my niche in functional analysis

I found my niche in functional analysis

As a teenager in the early 1990s, Nancy already knew she wanted to study computer science. Now she’s been working for Janssen Pharmaceutics for almost 20 years, through De Cronos Groep and Equalminds. In recent years, she’s worked mostly as a functional analyst, something she wants to continue doing for the rest of her career. “I found my niche in functional analysis!”

“Why did I choose computer science in secondary school? Well, first because I was better at it than other subjects,” Nancy laughs. “But it soon turned out to be a very interesting direction for me. So, I went on to study IT at the Karel de Grote Hogeschool in Antwerp. That’s where I met Wendy Dams, who’s a project manager at Equalminds these days. We’re still good friends.”

After her studies, Nancy worked for the Antwerp company Real Software. “Wendy started with another company but quickly moved to Cronos. She saw that I wasn’t happy at my job and suggested that I join her at Cronos in 1997. Almost three decades later, I’m still here!”

Progression to analyst

“At the beginning of my career, I mostly worked on development — SQL and PL/SQL, with the Oracle database. Later I also worked with Oracle Forms, including at Janssen Pharmaceutica (Johnson & Johnson). I wanted to make the move into analysis, and I was given the opportunity to develop my career in that direction. I’ve been working as a functional analyst for about 10 years now.

“Typically, my manager at Janssen Pharmaceutica receives a development request from an internal customer. He then draws up a limited process flow, still very high level, which we further develop together. This is how we arrive at a first proposal, which we present to the internal customer. I then draw up a detailed analysis based on the feedback. After that, the project will go to the developers, but I’ll continue to monitor progress.”

Nancy usually helps to realize several smaller projects at the same time. “I used to prefer the bigger, longer assignments. The pharmaceutical world is complex, and I found that this makes it challenging to always start new projects. But as the years passed, my knowledge of the pharmaceutical sector grew. I feel totally at home now, and I like taking on much smaller projects!”

The solution works!

“In the beginning, the visual aspect of the job really appealed to me. As a functional analyst, I was allowed to make diagrams and mock-ups myself. Today I also really like how varied and challenging the assignments are; it’s an exciting business. The best part is when customers let you know that you’ve done a good job and that the solution works. The human interaction, finding solutions, visualizing — I’ve really found my niche with analysis!”

But after all these years, does Nancy feel like an Equalminds or a Janssen Pharmaceutica employee? “That’s a difficult question,” she laughs. “But as much as I like working for Janssen Pharmaceutica, I’ve chosen to remain part of the Equalminds team. Not only because I’ve built up a career within the Cronos Group, it is and will simply remain my job.”

“I have been working from home full-time since the pandemic, so of course it’s important to maintain contact with my colleagues at Janssen Pharmaceutica and Equalminds. I very often attend social events such as dinner parties, and I really value the friendships I’ve made. In fact, colleagues from both companies came to my wedding! That says a lot, doesn’t it?”

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