Name: Janine de Bruyn
Title: Senior Financial Accounts Manager
Where did you previously live and you relocate to?
I joined the JTC South Africa branch in Cape Town during March 2018 and relocated to the JTC Netherlands offices in Amsterdam during the pandemic in January 2021.
“The mere fact that the Gateway program exists and works so well is testament to the Group’s involvement and openness to personal and career development, illustrating only one of the many areas where the company takes great care of its employees.”
What was the opportunity, and why was it appealing to you?
The opportunity was to permanently relocate to the Netherlands and join the JTC Netherlands finance team, which based in Amsterdam.
The opportunity was appealing because I was eager to broaden my career profile by gaining international work experience, while still being fortunate enough to be able to remain within the global JTC Group. The opportunity allowed for me to increase my knowledge and experience within the financial services industry, and at the same time, build cross-jurisdictional networks within the Group.
How supportive was JTC during your transition?
The whole process was facilitated by JTC with great care, and invaluable support from my line managers and HR departments in both jurisdictions.
It was a particularly tricky move in terms of logistics, as the timing had to be planned well around the Covid travel restrictions in both South Africa and the Netherlands. There were many alterations to my travel plans, and I ended up having to leave South Africa two weeks prior to my initial planned departure date, with less than 24 hours’ notice!
Both jurisdictions were very supportive during this turbulent process and I was very relieved to have been able to reach the Netherlands on one of the last flights prior to a travel ban, all thanks to meticulous planning assistance from within JTC.
What is the No. 1 thing to see/do in your new jurisdiction?
Since my arrival, the Netherlands has been in lockdown, so it has vastly limited visiting major attractions. However, the city of Amsterdam is incredibly charming and offers an expansive number of parks and other outdoor attractions, which has been great to explore. The canals and distinctive architecture have also been amazing to experience, together with the ease of exploring the city by bike!
How did your family and friends feel about the move?
I had constant support all throughout the process. As this was a rare and sought-after opportunity, all of my friends were very encouraging and supported the move.
My family was particularly pleased about the move, as I was able to reunite with my sister and two nieces, who have been living in the Netherlands for 12 years. It has been a real treat being in such close proximity to each other again and has certainly made the move significantly easier!
What lessons did you learn from this experience?
This has been a significant personal growth experience. I have learned that we are able to endure much more than what we think we are capable of – throughout the stress of moving in amidst the peak of a pandemic, I have learned the ability to adapt to new surroundings and cultures, and that there is tremendous value in expanding one’s horizons, both personally as well as professionally.
What was the big highlight?
Being reunited with my family and being able to experience an entirely new Dutch culture, the cheese in particular!
I left beautiful Cape Town during the height of summer and arrived in the Netherlands in the polar (no pun intended) opposite – it was freezing cold, and it took a while to get used to the absence of the sun!
Why do you think the international experience that Gateway offers is important?
I think the Gateway experience is an important component in expanding cross-jurisdictional relationships within the Group, and it also offers an opportunity to understand how the overall JTC dynamics fit into each other. It is useful for sharing knowledge gained in different jurisdictions.
What advice would you give someone considering a career at JTC?
I would strongly encourage anyone to pursue a career at JTC! It is such a dynamic and progressive group to be part of, and it has been an absolute adventure being able to witness the growth of the group throughout the past few years.
The mere fact that the Gateway program exists and works so well is testament to the Group’s involvement and openness to personal and career development, illustrating only one of the many areas where the company takes great care of its employees.