Our international colleagues: "All communication is in English"

Arjun & Ioulia - System Operations

More and more international colleagues are joining Alliander. Today we meet Arjun and Ioulia from the department System Operations. Arjun is from India and Ioulia from Greece. How do they experience working at Alliander? Keep reading!

Arjun Nair –  Energy Data Expert

Arjun Nair started working at Alliander in November 2021. He was actually one of our first international colleagues.

“As one of the first international employees it was challenging, especially with no knowledge of the Dutch  language. But thanks to my wonderful colleagues, I was able to get accustomed to the work culture immediately”, he said.

Even though Arjun adapted quickly into the Alliander work culture, there were definitely some things to get used to.
“The non-hierarchical structure is something new for me. But I really like the openness and straightforwardness in the work environment.”

Onboarding & intergration

“The onboarding was organized by my department. And my laptop, phone and accesses were all arranged on day one. But after that, getting integrated into the work and starting to contribute was challenging. Luckily, with the help of my colleagues, I was able to understand more of our department and its activities. This helped me to find my own way. In a couple of years, the onboarding in my department has improved a lot compared to the time I joined.”

Joint forces for the Energy transition

“I feel that internationals generally have different ideologies and ways of working. Being in an international team, it’s fun to have different views and learn from each other. We have a lot of challenges with the energy transition and it’s pretty cool we can all work together and create a better future.”

Dutch lessons

Although the entire team speaks English, Arjun has started Dutch lessons. “I started my Dutch lessons last month. My progress isn’t that fast, but I’m getting there. Ik kijk er naar uit steeds meer Nederlands met mijn collega’s te praten. (transIation: I look forward to speaking more and more Dutch with my colleagues) ”

Ioulia Papaioannou – System developer

Ioulia Papaioannou started a couple of months ago in the same department as Arjun: System Operations.

“I really do not feel like an international colleague. Everyone speaks English during our meetings, at our coffee breaks and all our communication is in English. So my integration is going well and smoothly. It’s ‘gezellig’! Sometimes I am still struggling with abbreviations coming from Dutch words, for example the KTP which stands for Short Term Forecasts, but I am getting there!”

Teamspirit and lots of coffee

“Alliander has a flat management structure and decisions can be made from any member of the team. In our meetings everyone can express themselves and there is room for discussion and we often challenge each other’s thoughts. It is more productive this way and the best idea goes through. People are not working in isolation but there is a very vibrant team spirit environment. When I am working at Bellevue, our office in Arnhem, I see a lot of colleagues talking with each other, sharing ideas and working together. Lots of lively discussions and lots of coffees!”


“From the moment I received the offer to work with Alliander I had a contact person from HR who guided me through the process. And they were always available to answer my questions and help me with the onboarding. Of course there’s always room for improvement. For example, it would be better if the contracts were also in English.”

Korte Termijn Prognose

“My Dutch is slowly improving! I’m at the level that I can guess that KTP stands for Korte Termijn Prognose! I am very happy though that my department is now investigating the possibility to offer Dutch lessons to me and to other internationals!”

The benefits of diversity

“At System Operations we are working with international colleagues since quite some time now. And we’re really happy about this” says, Arjan Stam, director System Operations. “We can all benefit from their international expertise and it supports the diversity and inclusion of our organization. In addition, we work better together, learn from each other and each other’s culture. You notice the benefits of diversity in our teams. I look forward to welcoming more international colleagues and seeing them grow and develop at Alliander.”

Would you like to work in the same department as Arjun and Ioulia? Check the vacancies.

Wanna become our colleague?