Employee interview – Iñaki Sota

“Solving complex technical problems makes me happy”

How expat Iñaki Sota learned to appreciate the Dutch working culture (and climate)

After working in the UK for one year followed by ten years in his home country Spain, Iñaki Sota decided that it was time for a new job abroad. In 2019, he got the opportunity to join cpmview as a Solutions Architect and move to Utrecht, The Netherlands.

When Iñaki joined cpmview in January 2019, he was the only non-Dutch employee: “That was very challenging for me, especially during social activities like having lunch outside the office. Currently, cpmview has employees with 13 different nationalities. So every new employee from abroad has the chance to meet colleagues who don’t speak Dutch (yet).“

A frosty surprise

“When I started at cpmview, I found a house in Utrecht. It’s a great place to live: cosy and charming, but not as touristic as big cities like Amsterdam.” Other aspects of his new job took a little more adaptation, for example, the Dutch working culture which is less hierarchic than the culture of the Spanish companies he used to work for. And the climate: “In my first week, I was taken by surprise by the frosty weather. In Spain, it freezes as well but The Netherlands has a more humid climate. So when I wanted to get in my car to drive to a customer, I could not because the car windows were frozen. And I had nothing I could use to scratch the ice from the windows. Nobody told me that an ice scratcher would be a must-have in The Netherlands, ha ha! The only option was to start the engine and wait patiently until the car would warm up and melt the ice. What a frosty surprise!”

Appreciation for my work

“As a Principal consultant/Solutions Architect, I help customers and colleagues solve complex technical problems. And I create solutions for technical customer requirements. That is the part of my job I love most and where I can really challenge myself. My previous job was at a Big Four organisation, where worked with a large group of employees on huge projects. My contribution to those huge projects was much less visible than here at cpmview. Now my contribution to the project outcome is much bigger and more visible.”

“It took me some time to get used to the working culture at cpmview though. It is a flat organisation with highly motivated people who work hard to meet or even exceed customer expectations. And partners who are open for discussion and value your opinion. On the other hand, your work and private life are deemed equally important at cpmview. This makes me feel I belong, and that my work is appreciated. Besides work, I enjoy spending time with friends, traveling, reading – especially historic novels – and sports. At cpmview, we used to play padel with several colleagues. However, due to a shoulder injury, I am currently not able to play padel anymore.”

From strict guidance to flexibility and responsibility

“Another cultural difference is the flexibility I have at cpmview. They encourage us to show proactivity and find our own way to organise our work. And they provide a lot of tools, resources, and expertise we can use. But it is our responsibility to get the job done. As Spanish companies tend to have very clear roles and offer strict guidance on how to do your job, this freedom confused me at first. Now I am used to it and learned to appreciate it, as it enables me to pursue my personal goals.”

The more complex a problem is, the better

“I am very fond of IT and technology. Nothing makes me happier than finally finding a solution for a problem I was puzzling on for some days. The more complex the situation, the better. At cpmview, we implement CPM solutions for financial planning, consolidation, and reporting for a wide variety of customers. Initially, we were all working with the same tool and the same kind of assignments. Due to market changes, cpmview strategically switched to implementing various CPM tools. For me, this means more possibilities to develop my skills on multiple tools.”

“My ambitions are to increase my knowledge and hands-on experience with certain tools. Look for bigger challenges or greater roles with the CPM project organisation, and maybe develop our cross-team involvement. And of course, continue to find and apply new technologies in our line of work which customers can benefit from.”