Tech, sports and teamwork

“I’ve always been a bit of a nerd. Even as a child, I already helped family members configure their new phones and computers. Now, I can fully express myself in the world of Data Science and AI.” Self-proclaimed ´data nerd´ and Senior Data Scientist Bellamie seems to have truly found her place at bol. In addition to her full-time job, she is a top athlete ánd proud member of bol’s Women in Tech group. What drives her? “To me, it’s all about the people. Working together as a team, helping each other when necessary, and being able to make a difference – ultimately, that’s what I really enjoy above everything else.”

Life as an athlete

Bellamie’s journey into professional sports started nine years ago when she discovered lacrosse as a student. “I quickly noticed that I loved lacrosse and was actually good at it too. One thing led to another, and I ended up in the European Championship selection for the Dutch team five years ago.”

Coincidentally, that selection period overlapped with the start of Bellamie’s internship as a data scientist at bol. She recalls, “Yes, that was quite a challenging time. I worked five days a week and was out training almost every night and weekend. Fortunately, that pressure has decreased a lot now. Although I still train intensively and am part of the selection for the upcoming European Championship, my colleagues allow me to work from home often. After a busy weekend of lacrosse, that flexibility is incredibly nice and something I truly appreciate.”

From CSI to bol

What keeps Bellamie motivated to balance a full-time job with her life as an athlete? She responds: “I just love both! I was very athletic as a child but, even then, already had a passion for IT too. Shows like CSI fascinated me, where ‘bad guys’ were tracked down using the latest data and technology. So when I heard about a new department at bol called Fraud & Risk, I did everything I could to join. It started with a mini-internship one day a week and I seized the opportunity when a full-time position became available. Now, I’m kind of playing CSI myself, helping our customers and sellers detect fraudsters, preferably before they come into contact with them.”

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"In addition to working closely together as a team on a daily basis, we all genuinely strive for the same goals. To me, that sense of purpose and teamwork truly defines bol's company culture." - Bellamie Persad, Senior Data Scientist

The development of women in tech

After a year in her new role, Bellamie joined bol’s newly established ‘Women in Tech’ group. She lights up when she explains, “At bol, you are encouraged to take on initiatives beyond work, helping to further develop yourself. I really wanted to do something socially significant, and was well aware of the lack of female role models in the tech world. By participating in this initiative, which came directly from bol’s management, I felt that I could contribute to something truly meaningful.”

Together with a team of various colleagues, Bellamie initiates projects that contribute to their Succession and Retention ‘pillar’. “Within our pillar, we focus on the successful development of women within bol. We do this, for example, by initiating a ‘Women in Tech café’ and by organizing inspiring events in collaboration with other companies. Currently, we are also collecting a lot of data. Because why do women stay or leave bol? And what more can we do to help them develop successfully here? This information helps us create new initiatives for the upcoming year.”

Strength in teamwork

With everything she undertakes, Bellamie is always busy. Yet, she seems to truly enjoy all that she does. “Of course, it can be challenging to be an athlete and work full-time. Nevertheless, I still enjoy lacrosse immensely and particularly the friendships I’ve made. Taking on tournaments together with my teammates really feels like one big celebration to me.”

“Interestingly, that’s exactly what I experience at bol too. There’s a tremendous team spirit within the organization, actively encouraged by incredible company parties, strategy days and -events that are organized. In addition to working closely together as a team on a daily basis, we all genuinely strive for the same goals. To me, that sense of purpose and teamwork truly defines bol’s company culture.”