Get to know Mattia Andronico
Introducing Mattia, a talented data analyst at Cubis whose love for data blossomed during his Electronics and ICT studies, ultimately leading him to his current position. Alongside his full-time job, Mattia is pursuing a Master’s degree in Management to expand his knowledge and enhance his functional abilities. Wondering how Mattia is balancing work and education? Discover more about his remarkable journey!
Where did you discover your passion of/for data?
During my high school years, I chose to study Electronics. I was determined to pursue this path and started looking at various options to deepen my knowledge in college. During my search, I attended the Thomas More Geel stand at the SID-IN fair in Genk, where they had just launched a new bachelor’s program that combined Electronics and ICT. The lecturer I met there was so fantastic that I was immediately convinced.
However, during my studies, I realized that it was mainly the IT part that caught my attention, and that Electronics wasn’t quite my thing. Luckily, our IT Factory* provided us with the opportunity to choose from various graduation tracks. After participating in some hackathons, I discovered my true passion in the world of data and decided to choose the “Business Intelligence” track.
*The IT-factory was/is the combination of two bachelor degrees: Applied Computer Science & Electronics-ICT. Nowadays you have 5 orientations to pick from. But when I was attending the IT-factory there were 4:
– BIT: Business Intelligence (my orientation)
– APP: Application Development
– INFRA: Cloud & cyber security
– EMDEV: Electronics (this is the one that initially caught my attention at the SID-IN)
The nice thing was that you only had to choose your orientation after 1,5 year. So you had the opportunity to try a bit of everything before making that choice.
How did you get in touch with Cubis?
During my final year at Thomas More, I had the fantastic idea to do my internship abroad! Not only did I want to do my internship in another country, I also wanted to learn a new skill that I hadn’t seen in school yet. That’s why I decided to go to beautiful Bratislava and do an SAP BW internship there. I had no knowledge of it whatsoever, but my curiosity overcame my doubts.
I was so proud of that internship that I immediately mentioned it on my Linkedin account. To my surprise, I soon received a message from Wim Van Wuytswinkel, Managing Partner at Cubis. He asked if I was interested in an introductory meeting because my SAP BW internship perfectly matched what they were doing within the company. I had a Teams meeting with Wim and I felt the connection with Cubis right away. It was quickly decided that I would start my career at Cubis. I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into new challenges!
“I told Wim that I wanted to continue studying, and to my surprise, he immediately supported me. He was glad to hear that I wanted to keep pursuing my personal development and encouraged me to continue.”
Why the choice to combine a full-time job with a master?
After a year of working full-time, I realized I had some spare time in the evenings. I wanted to use this time wisely to improve my functional skills, as I felt I was lacking in that area. In September 2019, I decided to broaden my horizons by pursuing an additional degree. I searched for evening courses, but none of them convinced me. Fortunately, my former teacher forwarded a master’s program that immediately appealed to me: the “Master of Management” at UHasselt.
During my bi-annual evaluation, I told Wim that I wanted to continue studying, and to my surprise, he immediately supported me. He was glad to hear that I wanted to keep pursuing my personal development and encouraged me to continue. I am still grateful for Cubis’ support to this day!
My job at Cubis is rather technical, but I often encounter different aspects of business operations, such as finance. I wondered how these business processes actually work, and the Master of Management seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn more about them. The first year was a bridging year in which we took courses in economics, finance, and marketing. But from the second year onwards, it became more specific, and I was immersed in the world of ‘Strategy & Innovation’. It was a learning journey that gave me many new insights and from which I still benefit every day.
What does a week look like for you?
Being a full-time employee and a student is certainly a challenge, but with some flexibility and planning, I can handle it all. Fortunately, I was able to apply for educational leave (something like paternity leave but for educational purposes), which allowed me to combine my work and studies. However, there is a big difference between my work week before and after COVID-19.
Before the pandemic, I had to travel to the campus in Diepenbeek regularly for my classes. This meant that I was still working late at night to make up for my hours at Cubis. It sometimes felt like a race against the clock to complete both my schoolwork and Cubis work. Fortunately, during that period, I was working for a client in Oostende, which was far from my home, so I stayed in a hotel, which gave me enough time to study in the evenings.
But then COVID-19 came and changed everything. Suddenly, all classes were given online, and I could work from home. This made my life much easier. I could work for Cubis during the day and attend my classes in the evening. It was a relief not to have to travel anymore and not to waste time in traffic jams. In fact, COVID-19 brought more balance to my work-life balance.
“I believe consultancy offers a great opportunity to work in various environments and learn about different work cultures.”
How would you compare yourself now to how you were before you were a data analyst?
Working at Cubis has many enjoyable aspects! However, what stands out the most is the atmosphere within the group and the contact with colleagues. We are a warm, large family, and it is a pleasure to come to the office.
Self-development is also a point that receives a lot of attention within the company. You get the opportunity to take many courses and obtain certificates, which makes you an even better expert in your field.
What part of your job do you find most interesting?
I believe consultancy offers a great opportunity to work in various environments and learn about different work cultures. It enables you to gain new knowledge, skills and try out innovative ideas. This, in turn, can enhance your personal growth and development. Plus, a significant advantage is that it expands your professional network at a rapid pace.
Can you share a personal success story where you used data and analytics to help the business?
Some time ago, we had the opportunity to work on a project for a client from Luxembourg. We started from scratch, which was definitely a challenge. It was during the period when the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting us, so we had to rely on digital communication. It was certainly challenging for us since we were not used to communicating so much digitally. As a team, we achieved fantastic results, and both the client and we were satisfied!
Earlier, you mentioned that corona provided a positive impact on your work-life balance. But how are you currently keeping that under control?
For a while, my work-life balance was negatively impacted. Especially in the beginning of my studies, I had very little free time. However, by transitioning to a more digital way of living and learning, I was able to regain balance and focus well on both work and school. Sleep is crucial in achieving this balance. If there is one golden tip I can give to those who work and study, it is to maintain a healthy sleep schedule. This will help prevent fatigue, increase creativity, keep your mind fresh, and allow you to handle more than you might think.
Of course, now I also appreciate taking a break from studying on a summer evening and going out for a drink with friends on a terrace while watching the sunset.
“Working at Cubis means working for a growing company where fun and knowledge go hand in hand.”
How do you stay on top of the latest SAP trends?
Learning from each other is one of the best and most important methods to stay up to date with new SAP trends. You can’t do everything alone, and that’s why Cubis values the importance of learning from one another like in our knowledge sessions we organize every month. In addition, SAP organizes a lot of events and webinars about the latest features in the data world!
What do you wish more people knew about SAP?
One of the great things about SAP is the immense number of possibilities it offers. Most people who have heard of SAP only know about the ERP part, but there is also an interesting BW story that few are aware of. That’s why I think it’s unfortunate that universities and colleges don’t talk much, if at all, about SAP. You almost have to have a chance encounter with SAP during an internship or something similar, otherwise you’ll have no knowledge of it when you graduate. This is a shame because thanks to SAP, you can end up in very large companies where you can learn a lot!
Why should someone apply for a job at Cubis?
Working at Cubis means working for a growing company where fun and knowledge go hand in hand. So why not? It’s just great to be part of a flourishing company. When I started, we were 30 people. Now, 5 years later, we are a fantastic group of 110 people. It’s wonderful to see how we work together towards a common goal, both professionally and personally.
Still not convinced? Then I’ll be happy to tell you over a glass of wine on a summer terrace what it’s like to join the numerous team building activities such as short ski trips, trips abroad, sports activities, etc.
What would you like to achieve in the future?
In the short term, my priority is obviously to obtain my Master of Management degree. If everything goes well, I will have achieved this by the summer of this year! In the long term, I see myself moving from a technical to a more functional role. I want to be involved in the business, come up with strategies, and improve processes. And my biggest dream is to work on a project abroad for a few years. So, Cubis, if you want to expand to, let’s say, Italy or the United Kingdom, I’m in!
What tips would you give to (future) colleagues?
Make sure to create a pleasant work environment for yourself! Join the outings, get to know people and above all, stay true to yourself. It will only have a positive influence on your life!