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Singer-songwriter and Solution Architect Stephan Nijhuis: ‘Singing has taught me that I can achieve anything if I put my heart and soul into it’

In addition to his work at ITQ, Stephan is also a singer-songwriter. He plays guitar and writes his own songs, which he performs at Friday afternoon drinks or on a big stage. Music taught him life lessons that he can put to good use in his work too, but what exactly are the interfaces between songs and solutions?

‘Everyone is driven and that motivates enormously.’

When and how did you start at ITQ?

I joined CAM IT Solutions in the summer of 2023. CAM is responsible for the development and day-to-day management of IT platforms at a large number of hospitals. In January 2024, CAM was acquired by ITQ. So I have been an ITQ employee for almost six months now, working as a Solution Architect. That means I design appropriate IT solutions so that customers can work more finely, quickly and flexibly.

So you've been through an acquisition. What were your first weeks as an ITQ employee like?

Such an acquisition is of course forced in a way, but the transition was actually very smooth and natural. ITQ is a big company and I especially liked having more colleagues with the same technical expertise around me. That makes switching gears and sparring very easy. But what I like most of all is that the culture matches what I was used to: everyone is incredibly driven and that motivates me enormously.

How would you describe ITQ as an organisation?

I see ITQ as an organisation where you get the chance to develop yourself and where your passion - of whatever kind - is actively encouraged. It is an organisation where knowledge and drive are paramount. The emphasis is on both professional and personal growth. There is an open, transparent and committed atmosphere. Furthermore, I have an autonomous position and am responsible for my clients, which gives me a feeling of confidence and appreciation.

And what about the working atmosphere?

We work with a group of enormously motivated people. And the old-fashioned stereotype that IT people would be technically proficient but socially less skilled does not apply here at all! We are always in for a joke and regularly make fun of each other at get-togethers. My colleagues are both technically proficient and socially adept, and for me that is a golden combination.

How often do you see your colleagues?

Most of them are in the office at least once or twice a week. I think it's important to see my colleagues regularly and not just sit at home. Fridays are informal; we often have drinks in the afternoon. Sometimes I bring my guitar to play some music with colleagues.

Besides fortnightly meetings and quarterly sessions where we see each other, discuss progress and celebrate successes, social activities are also organised regularly. This coming weekend, for example, there is a barbecue that employees from other offices will also attend. It's really nice to see and talk to your German, Belgian and Luxembourg colleagues at such an even

‘My colleagues are both tech-savvy and social: a golden combination.’

Stephan Nijhuis Solution Architect at ITQ

‘By becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable, you become a stronger person.’

What does ITQ do to support employees?

Besides organising various activities, ITQ also takes individual employee development seriously. At the beginning of the year, you set out your development plans. You decide where you want to go with ITQ's help. There is plenty of room for professional and personal growth and ITQ facilitates this by offering all kinds of training courses, for example.

A lot of use is also made of the knowledge and skills employees bring. For example, I help a number of colleagues develop their knowledge in the field of VMware because I was a teacher and specialised in it. Conversely, a colleague helps me with planning, something I occasionally find a bit difficult.

What is your passion?

I'm a singer-songwriter, so I play guitar. I've been doing that for a while, and my mother told me to do something with it. I also got compliments from friends, so apparently others appreciate my music too. Early this year I performed for the first time; I was dead nervous. But I love challenges, and when I was on stage for the second time last month, I was totally relaxed. I find that it gives me peace and pleasure to get my thoughts out of my head and organised. By sharing my self-written songs with others in this way, I have learned to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, which has made me much stronger.

And what are the intersections with your work?

I have learnt a lot from singing and performing which I can apply almost daily in my work. First, I now know that I can achieve anything if I put my heart and soul into something. Also, I can keep calm and remain calm in any situation. In the workplace, you have to stand your ground from time to time, and calmness is essential in this regard. I have found that you become stronger when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. And the more often you do that, the stronger you become. I see that reflected in my work. So in that way, my passion helps me grow as a person.

How do you see your future at ITQ?

As I said, I like a bit of a challenge. Otherwise, I soon get bored. At ITQ, I see plenty of development opportunities and I can still learn so much. People with passion are valued and encouraged here. I'm glad about that, because personal growth is essential to grow professionally as well.

We like passionate people!

At ITQ you get the space and support to develop the way you want. So that you can organize your work in a way that suits you.