Ric Zwanenberg started working at ICT Group in Eindhoven 33 years ago and still enjoys working there. As project manager, he leads specialist teams that carry out internal and external assignments and projects for clients. Over the years Ric has held various positions. "It is mainly the variety that has made it interesting for me for more than three decades," he says. "With the explosive growth of software in ever smarter vehicles, for example, the safety aspect has taken on an even greater charge." He therefore also fulfills the role of functional safety consultant.
Both his daily work, and his volunteer work, Ric takes very seriously. "I always prepare well and keep up with my skills," he says. For his umpiring job, he does so in his spare time. As a baseball umpire, Ric is deployed at the top of the Dutch league, but also beyond. He regularly leads games during European youth competitions and even world tournaments. "That's great to do!"
"For tournaments, I often have to take vacation days several days in a row," Ric says. "So I have to plan that well with my work at ICT Group. If I'm away for a week, it still runs, if properly arranged. I work with professionals who don't need daily management. And these days you're never completely off the radar. I just really like the fact that my colleagues know where to find me when needed." When Ric needs extra vacation days, he works five days a week for a while instead of his regular four. "That way I save extra vacation days. That's the flexibility ICT Group offers me."
What about his fitness, by the way? After all, Ric is already approaching sixty. "Ha, ha, that's fine with me," he laughs. "I'm nice and fit and train several times a week at the gym. I don't do that just for baseball, though. I just want to be fit. That benefits me in my daily work as well." Ric therefore likes the fact that ICT Group pays a lot of attention to employee health. "There is fruit everywhere and there are also many sports activities with colleagues." When it is convenient, Ric participates in them.
"If it can be fitted into my work, I take those opportunities!"
"Come to think of it, I see clear parallels between my work for ICT Group and being a baseball umpire in my spare time," Ric says. "When I'm doing something, I actively want to pull things forward and am quick to take charge. Apparently that's in the nature of the beast. Actually, I'm constantly managing groups of people. Just as the colleagues on my team know what to do, so do the players on the field. You just have to manage everything. Sticking to the rules of the game is one thing, more important is making sure things don't escalate. Both in sports and at work, I benefit from knowing how things work on the field. Thanks to my computer science education and various internal training courses, I am perfectly capable of discussing the content. And as a former baseball player, I know how the game is played."
Another parallel is that Ric sees opportunities and seizes them. "At ICT Group I take on beautiful and innovative projects with the team and in my sport I am regularly asked to lead matches at the international level. If it can be fitted into my work, I take those opportunities!"
His future at ICT Group? "I still really enjoy my work and am happy to continue full of energy. The diversity that once attracted me so much in the company has only become more so. I expect to contribute to many more great projects."