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Spotlight on Essenters: Bipul Singh

Freek
6 minutes
Welcome to a new Spotlight on Essenters! Today we will have a chat with Bipul Singh, a Solution Architect at Essent.


HI BIPUL, COULD YOU TELL OUR READERS A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?

Hi, I'm Bipul Singh and I am a Solution Architect at Essent. I’m originally from India and in my free time I enjoy cooking, playing the keyboard and taking walks.


I also volunteer at Essent with the Refugee Talent Hub initiative to help refugees integrate into the labor market, by mentoring them and helping them in creating a good CV and LinkedIn profile.



CAN YOU BRIEFLY SHARE A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN IT?

IT and food are my true passions. I began my journey by studying IT during high school and continued with it in university.

During my bachelor's, I bought my first desktop PC and my friends and I started experimenting with making applications.

I was very happy after we did a demo to one of the desktop seller vendors and that's when I discovered I wanted to create things that would be useful. Initially, I never imagined pursuing a career in IT; I always thought I'd end up in hotel management as a chef.


WERE THERE ANY KEY EXPERIENCES OR MENTORS THAT SHAPED YOUR JOURNEY?

My manager from my previous workspace is someone whom I really look up to. He always motivated me to enhance my skills and was very much engaged with my learning path. He also helped me in my transition towards learning Dutch and I really looked up to the way he was a real mentor and manager to our team back. He was always willing to mentor others and provide constructive feedback.


HOW DID YOU COME TO WORK AT ESSENT?

Essent was my first client when I started working in The Netherlands. I really enjoyed the work and the contact I had with the people. I saw that Essent focused on the growth of their employees and always helped in skill development. 

After leaving Essent, I was still in touch with some of my colleagues. During my conversation with one of my colleagues, I got to know that Essent was looking for people and that’s how I applied for this position. The process was very smooth and quick, and I am happy to be back!


WHAT WERE YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS OF THE COMPANY, AND HOW HAVE THEY CHANGED SINCE?

My first impressions were very good. Starting from when I was greeted by HR on my introduction day, to meeting my manager in person after my orientation, everything was very nice. I like how Essent values its customer and how the company’s vision and strategy are aligned with customer needs.

In the beginning there were some challenges because my team was very big and it was difficult to make a connection with everyone. People in my team are open and accessible and I really like the way we help each other and work together. I am glad that I made the move to Essent.


COULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CURRENT ROLE AND YOUR PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES?

As a solution architect I am responsible for translating business requirements into logical small solutions which are also easily maintainable. I work within the I Pay ART together with multiple DevOps teams on different features and epics.

I also ensure that the solution proposed is in accordance with the standards and the guidelines of Essent IT.


CAN YOU SHARE SOME CHALLENGES YOU’VE FACED IN YOUR ROLE, AND HOW YOU OVERCAME THEM?

One challenge I faced was moving to a new department at Essent. Even though I knew the company well, figuring out who to contact for different things and understanding how the existing landscape works was a challenge. There was a gap of 3 years between leaving and returning to Essent, and in these 3 years a lot changed.

In the beginning it was a rollercoaster ride. But I scheduled coffee moments with other colleagues to get their support, and in the end all went well.




HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE CULTURE WITHIN YOUR TEAM OR DEPARTMENT?

It’s a very interesting question! I believe team culture is very important because you spend a lot of time together and it must be a healthy environment. It's a cheerful place, and we support each other, even outside of working hours. We have a group chat for quick questions or sharing cool news.

Since we are from different cultures, it's great that we mainly use English. I'm still learning Dutch and my colleagues are happy to speak English with me. The open culture here is helpful. Our managers are easy to talk to and always make time for us.


WHAT ASPIRATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR YOUR DEPARTMENT OR ROLE IN THE UPCOMING YEAR?

In architecture, we are all working on different strategies like our One Stop Energy Shop, simplified microservice architecture, domain driven design, etc, which requires a lot of re-architecture work. It is part of my role to help achieve the vision and strategies.   

We must be more collaborative, creative, and adaptive to challenge the existing processes and assumptions. I recently made a learning plan with my manager. My goals are to enhance my skill set and help each other. I believe it is important for everyone to update their skill set and keep on practicing.


WHAT ARE SOME PERSONAL HABITS OR PRACTICES THAT YOU FEEL MAKE YOU MORE EFFECTIVE IN YOUR JOB?

I believe time management is one of the biggest things that will make you effective at work.
It is important to block time to evaluate your day, because otherwise you will jump from meeting to meeting without being able to clear your head. Even if it is just 5 or 10 minutes, I suggest people block their agendas to reflect and clear their mind.


IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?

I would simply tell you to always believe in yourself, communicate well with other people, share your feelings and thoughts. The IT industry is continuously changing, and the market is getting more and more unpredictable. Always try to update your skills and maintain them, that will help you in the future. If you don’t go with the flow, you will always stay behind.

You do have to step outside your comfort zone and explore, try new things, and make reasonable plans for where you want to go.


We would like to thank Bipul for the time he took to speak with us, and the insights he shares.


If you have any lingering questions for him, don’t hesitate to drop a comment down below. We will ensure you are promptly connected.
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