Meet Nikki Buitendijk

Potatoes just don’t excite me

Nikki Buitendijk is my name. I recently turned 30. Which I’m happy about, because I noticed it’s an age when you start having fewer doubts about things. My city is Utrecht. I live there and I’m a huge fan. I lived in Tilburg for a while and studied journalism there. It was fun. It’s quite an ugly city, but I had a good time there.

Then I moved to the center of Utrecht, where I studied Communication, Media and Design. A fantastic study program and I really loved living in the center of the city. During my study, I specialized in User Experience Design and discovered how interesting this work is. So I started looking for a job in this specialist area. My first job was at Informaat in Baarn, a kind of secondment agency, where I did a lot of work for municipalities. Then I went to work for Osage in Utrecht. There I focused more on project management and I missed the UX.

You can have lots of fun with the MT people

It was thanks to Maren that I heard about ValueBlue. We know each other from the service desk at Conclusion, our first student job. She told me that ValueBlue was looking for a UX designer. At first, I wasn’t all that interested because I was very happy where I was, but Maren persuaded me that an interview wouldn’t do me any harm. And actually I was sold straight away thanks to Jordy’s infectious enthusiasm about BlueDolphin in that interview. So I decided I’d like to work here after all!

I can see a huge difference between then and now. Last year, we were still at the end of the start-up phase and you could see us slowly making more and more progress; a new building, new people, English as our official language, and so on. It was really great to experience it all. When I came here 18 months ago, there was nobody doing what I was doing. So I was able to set it up the way I wanted it. I was and still am allowed to decide a lot of things for myself.

I really like the fact that ValueBlue gives you so much responsibility. If you have an idea and you can back it up, you’re immediately given the space to implement it, short lines and no sense of hierarchy. Fantastic! You can have lots of fun with everyone, also with the MT. It’s all nice and informal.

Nervous about nothing

Who I’m most proud of? I’m quite proud of myself. I’ve got things going pretty well; I can support myself, I have nice people around me, a good job. All in all, I’ve done pretty well. But I’m more proud of other people than of myself. My mother is top of the list. She has done so much for us through the years. My father died when I was quite young. I have two younger sisters and a little brother and we all ended up pretty well. She’s done an amazing job really! But I’m also proud of my brother. He became a father at a very young age and he’s managing really well. And my boyfriend, who found a great new job even though he didn’t know what he wanted to do for a long time. And I could go on and on… I’m a family person. I think family is the most important thing in life.

My mother often used to say that people suffer most from the fear of ache. In the past, I used to get anxious if I had to do something or go somewhere. And then it always turned out much more enjoyable or much easier than I had anticipated. Fortunately, I’ve been able to put that anxiety about nothing behind me. You can drive yourself crazy with that kind of thing.

Hobbies? I watch a huge amount of series. All types of series, on Netflix and now also on Videoland. That’s what I spend most of my free time doing. I don’t watch sport. I hate sport actually.  But I really like dancing. And going out, having drinks, with friends, that type of thing. I did that more in the past than I do now. But my biggest hobby is food. 

My favorite food? What not, you’d better ask. I used to love pasta. I still do, but I’ve discovered lots of even more delicious food, such as curry or a really tasty salad, that type of thing. I cook absolutely everything, well almost everything. I never cook Dutch food myself, at most a potato salad. When we were young, my mother used to cook lots of Dutch food. I never really liked it that much. Now I almost never eat it. Except when I visit my mother, but then only the vegetables. Potatoes just don’t excite me. I sometimes think “What if I could only eat one thing for the rest of my life? What would it be?” The answer? Sushi. Sushi is always delicious, any time of the day!