Here’s how Gulli can be both an IT and a music professional
Employee development and freedom is paramount at Conclusion MBS, both during and outside work. That’s why we have no problem with part-time work here at Conclusion MBS. It gives people space to spend more time with their families, or to pursue a hobby or passion. Some MBS employees opt specifically to work part-time. Gulli Gudmundsson is one of them. He’s a professional double-bass player, and recently became a solution architect at Conclusion MBS. Here he discusses his passion for music and why he combines it with a part-time job in the IT world.
March 31st, 2022 | Publication | By: Conclusion MBS
Musician to the depths of his soul
Gulli graduated from the conservatoire in 1999 and then launched into a vocation as a freelance musician in the Dutch jazz scene. A great career followed, taking him all over the world. “I’ve toured in so many countries and played so many festivals, including the North Sea Jazz Festival,” recalls Gulli. He has also contributed to more than forty albums, notching up several Edison awards in the process. And today he’s still deeply involved in music: “Right now I’m part of several jazz quartets, and I teach a few hours a week at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.”
The great thing about IT is that you always have to keep learning and growing. You’re constantly pushing yourself to do new things.
But also an IT pro
However fifteen years ago Gulli decided to seek more certainty in the IT world, alongside his work as a freelance musician. “I wanted to be familiar with both,” he explains. “The great thing about IT is that you always have to keep learning and growing. You’re constantly pushing yourself to do new things, which I think is really exciting.” That’s why he studied business information systems and began working thirty hours a week as an IT consultant. Despite that, his passion for music was undimmed. “I didn’t want to stop playing,” he emphasises. “So that’s why I began working part-time, giving me enough scope to play concerts and to travel to music festivals internationally.”
One extreme to the other
It’s the combination between the two worlds that Gulli has sought so consciously. “Music is feeling, creativity and improvisation,” he explains. “IT is precisely the opposite: facts, logic, organisation. It’s the combination of these two worlds that keeps me alive; I simply can’t exist in just one of them.” So despite always being happy to flip open his MBS laptop after a tour, he can also revel in his improvised jazz again after a long period spent supporting clients with their IT transformations. “Jazz is about spontaneity and reacting to the moment,” he explains. “I occasionally miss that in IT, and that’s what makes it such a great combination.”
It’s the combination of these two worlds that keeps me alive; I simply can’t exist in just one of them.
Nevertheless the two worlds also share common ground. Gulli’s experience as a freelance musician helps him in several ways in his role as a solution architect. “When you play in a band and do hundreds of concerts together, one word is all you need together,” Gulli points out. “And that helps me a lot when collaborating with my project team at Conclusion MBS.” His experience as a freelancer also adds value to his role as a solution architect: “Freelancers learn to understand entrepreneurship. The risks and challenges that entails. As a consultant we need to understand our customers – entrepreneurs – and their motivations. Freelancing puts me in the front row in that role, which helps me enormously in empathising with the client’s situation.”
Best of both worlds
Music and IT: Gulli wouldn’t want it any other way. As a solution architect at Conclusion MBS he’s exactly where he wants to be. “It’s great fun to work in IT,” he insists. “We’ve got a great group of people at Conclusion MBS. It’s a committed and enterprising team.” Gulli would definitely recommend that his colleagues also make time for a passion or hobby: “It’s great to have something more in your life than just work. That opens up variety and a bigger picture of life. It helps you in understanding and empathising with clients’ situations. After all, we’re there to support them.”