Colleague in the Spotlight: Jacques Vaessen

While you can find our entire team on this website, we think those short biographies don’t do them justice. This month’s colleague in the spotlight: Jacques Vaessen!

What did you do before joining Aexus?
“After studying economics in Tilburg, I started working at the treasury department of ABP, which at the time was the second largest pension fund in the world. But after a few years, I felt it was time for something different: I found the financial sector to be very abstract and unpersonal. I’ve always had a passion for wine, so I switched to wine trade. It allowed me to have direct contact with customers, and I was dealing with physical products. I worked for eight years at a wine shop, before my wife and I decided to start our own company. She is still running the winery, but I decided it was time to make yet another switch.”

From wines to information technology – it is not the most logical of steps. How did that happen?
“I have always been interested in tech and innovation. One of our clients, the owner of a startup in radio-frequency identification, heard about this and asked if I was interested in helping him. And as it turns out, I was. That is how I made my start in IT.”

And how did you go from there to Aexus?
“Things did not turn out the way we hoped at the RFID startup. Still, I was able to learn a lot about the sector during my time there. I take great interest in how new technologies work, and find the sales side of things, the business development, truly interesting. At Aexus, I felt I would be able to combine those two things. I decided to just send an open application.”

What were your first impressions?
“The company sounded very hands on, and market driven. But what also immediately stood out was the atmosphere, which felt very open. Because in our first interview, we immediately spoke about the opportunities the job would bring – but also about the challenges. Things were not sugarcoated. And I have participated in a lot of job interviews in my life, but this one really stood out: they did not beat around the bush. I really appreciated that.”

You started in Arnhem, but recently moved to Eindhoven. Why?
“Because that is how things happen at Aexus: if you think you have a good idea, you are free to share it. I remembered really enjoying setting up our own winery. So, I suggested to move to Eindhoven, near the high tech-campus, and build and lead my own team. The management team immediately encouraged me to look into it. Skip to three months later, and here I am: working in Eindhoven, having hired the first people.”

What does a typical working day at Aexus look like?
“It mainly consists of following up on stuff, taking care of ongoing affairs, and participating in calls for all of my partners. I stay in touch with their existing clients, fill the pipeline with new prospects, and often attend events with my partners on their behalf.”

Do you have any plans for the future?
“I hope to expand the team in Eindhoven even further. That is, aside from the work I do for partners, really my main goal for now: expanding the team, making it successful, and keeping it that way. That way, I can help Aexus grow – and at the same time develop my own set of skills. I believe that is how it ideally should be.”