When she turned 18, Curaçao-born and -bred Dayenne Gouverneur moved to the Netherlands to study in Heerlen. Aside from a few family members dotted around the country, Dayenne didn’t know anyone close by when she moved to Maastricht. She started Accenture’s RPA Traineeship last April.

‘Before moving to the Netherlands, the only thing I knew about the country was that it’s a lot colder than Curaçao. And it really is: getting used to the cold and rain was definitely one of the hardest things for me. Another thing that struck me is how everybody is in a hurry here - seeing people running to catch a train was new to me; in Curaçao, no one rushes for public transport. To be honest, I was quite homesick during those first few months in Maastricht - I am very close to my family and I missed my mom a lot especially. It took me a good few months - maybe even a year - to feel like I’d actually settled in.’

‘I must admit that studying in the Netherlands wasn’t my first choice; I had my mind set on going to university in the United States. However, when I found out how extremely expensive that would be, I decided Maastricht was a more than adequate plan B. I was told that as a student, living in Maastricht is the best choice. And I am happy I took that advice. Maastricht has really become “my” city. I love the vibe here and the fact that it’s relatively quiet. I find bigger cities like Amsterdam and Rotterdam too crowded.’

Image: Portrait Dayenne Gouverneur - by Accenture

The Right Thing at the Right Time

‘I have always been interested in both technology and economics. Hence the choice to study Industrial Engineering and Management it perfectly combines these two fields. After finishing my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to deepen my knowledge and so I went on to pursue my master’s at the Eindhoven University of Technology. Well, I got more than I bargained for - the master’s degree was far more mathematical and theory-driven than I expected. While I loved the maths focus, I wasn’t too keen on the theoretical part - I am definitely more of a practical, learning-by-doing type of person. I completed all of my courses, but when I reached the point of having to write my thesis, I made the decision to wave goodbye to the university and kickstart my career. Although people warned me I might regret leaving later on, I personally am convinced it was the right thing to do, at the right time.’

I am definitely more of a practical, learning-by-doing type of person.

‘So, there I was with a bachelor’s degree under my belt, a nearly-completed master’s and quite a significant dose of work experience that I had gained through the various internships I had done during my studies. When I say “various”, I truly mean it - I have interned at a very diverse mix of organizations, from a company that produces a specific type of paper and an NGO that addresses river pollution to a distribution center and a hospital. However, when I started applying for a “real” job, I struggled to make headway. In the labor market, internships don’t qualify as real work experience, unfortunately. I was looking for a business analyst position or a role in ICT, preferably somewhere close to Maastricht. But among all the job postings I looked at, I didn’t come across one that really aligned with my ambitions.’

Room for Growth, from Day One

‘What I did come across was Accenture’s post about their RPA Traineeship. I was intrigued right away. During my studies, I had completed several IT courses, so it sounded like something that was right up my alley and yet also a great opportunity to learn something new and gain more experience. Although programming was new to me, the logic behind it wasn’t. Above all, I figured the traineeship would prove invaluable professionally while also helping me to further develop as a person.’

Image: Portrait Dayenne Gouverneur - by Accenture

‘It turns out Accenture is the perfect place for development because it offers its employees so much room for growth. Every interaction I have at the company confirms this: even juniors get given responsibilities and opportunities, which shows confidence in our abilities. It’s one of the reasons I genuinely hope Accenture will offer me a contract after this traineeship: I would love to work for an organization where there is still so much more to learn, do and discover. Also, I’ve realized that RPA really is “my thing”. I love how it combines consultancy and technology, and that it allows me to work at different companies in different environments.’

Accenture is the perfect place for development because it offers its employees so much room for growth

‘We Did It!’

‘My personal highlight of the traineeship was, without a doubt, when the robot we had designed and programmed finally started working. After hours - no, make that days - and tons of errors, it finally did what we intended it to do. The moment we realized the robot actually worked was absolutely amazing and it boosted our confidence enormously. There was this hugely satisfying sense of “we did it!”’

‘Aside from improving my technical skills, the traineeship also facilitated the personal growth I had hoped for. Working here has improved my understanding of who I am, as well as my strengths and weaknesses. Knowing your strong suits and your flaws is hugely beneficial because it enables you to work on them and refine your strengths or improve on your shortcomings. As far as my strong points go, two that stand out are my analytical mind and my organizational skills. My biggest area needing improvement? Definitely my struggle to network. I have always been the silent girl in the back of the room - approaching people I don’t know makes me feel uncomfortable. This is something I definitely need to work on, and I think that requires pushing myself out of my comfort zone and just doing it.’

Returning to My Motherland

‘Even though I am very pleased that I have managed to build my life in Maastricht over the past decade, the time will come when I return to Curaçao and my family - there’s no doubt about it. It won’t be now, but maybe in a few years - when I reach a point when I feel like my time here has run its course. Luckily, my mom is now retired, so she visits me twice a year, sometimes even for as long as two months. One of our shared passions is cooking. She’s amazing in the kitchen and likes to try new recipes regularly. You can wake me up any time of the night for her homemade bami. I personally am more of a baker - cakes are my specialty. My guilty pleasure is watching baking shows on TLC, but there’s nothing I find more fulfilling than making delicious treats myself. I managed to infect two of my good friends with baking fever, so we often spend days together conjuring up the perfect cake.’  

Image: Portrait Dayenne Gouverneur - by Accenture

Dayenne Gouverneur (1990)

Studied: BSc Industrial Engineering and Management, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences (2013)

Started working at Accenture: April 2018

Relationship status: Single

Loves: Food

Gets annoyed by: When people don’t keep their promises or arrive late without notifying

Favorite food: Chocolate - white with nuts is my favorite

On my nightstand: A night lamp and The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson

Listens to: Latin music

Last purchase: Clothes

Would like to sit next to on the plane: Ellen DeGeneres

Life-changing event: Moving to the Netherlands

The best lesson life has taught me: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - you’re bound to make them either way

What I learned last week: That I am capable of a lot more than I thought I was

Most beautiful place on earth: Curaçao

Hobbies/passions: Baking and sports

What nobody knows about me: That I have a fear of flying, but travel nonetheless

Life motto: Love the life you live. Live the life you love (Bob Marley)