Steve Lewis began as a Tasman Advisor in The Netherlands and now is a Tasman Account Manager in Singapore. Steve took the time with us to share his experiences with Tasman, international consulting, and new cultures.
Where are you from?
I grew up near Chicago.
What do you do for Tasman?
I began as a consultant in the Netherlands, but I believed strongly in the potential of Tasman, so I started working as a recruiter and account manager quite soon. I now work from Singapore and am pursuing clients in the APAC region.
Is this your first experience working abroad?
Sort of. I’ve lived in several other countries, and I was a volunteer in Kenya for an HIV organization, but this is completely different in every way.
What is your favorite part of living abroad?
The possibilities for travel on weekends are huge, particularly in Europe. While I loved seeing so many things and taking the high-speed train to Paris every few months, I most enjoyed the Dutch lifestyle and local opportunities. Bicycling to work, working in a no-nonsense environment, etc.
Why do you like working for Tasman?
I love talking to clients about how we can help them because there is no other firm in Europe or Asia that offers the level of experience we do. I enjoy talking to candidates about the possibilities and realities of working abroad for the first time.
What types of professional growth have you obtained by consulting abroad?
It requires a very flexible attitude and approach when working and living in a new country. While many implementations in the US have become routine, many other countries are implementing Epic for the very first time. This means that you come across workflows that have never been built in Epic before, and there is no documentation about it. You really need to think creatively and to understand the technical possibilities at a more advanced level. Working in a professional environment where most of your colleagues have different attitudes about work and professionalism and possibly speak a different language than you also requires high adaptability. In the future I will always consider “the Dutch approach” to problems and situations and apply it wherever it fits.
What is a challenge you've faced while working on projects abroad?
A basic example is that Dutch healthcare is organized very differently than US healthcare. For example, primary care and secondary care in the Netherlands cannot be provided by the same organization, they must be independent. While the US (and many other European countries) have moved to more integrated systems, the Dutch feel that this would remove patient choice and freedom. Epic is designed to work best when all levels of care are provided in the same instance of Epic. When all the referring providers are outside of the organization (legally required to be), then many basic workflows in Epic become much less efficient, so it’s a challenge to try to adapt Epic in a way for which it is not optimized.
On a personal note, I like to give the example of flooring for apartments. In the Netherlands, the flooring is owned by the renter, not the landlord. So, if you move into a new apartment, there will be no flooring. If it is new-ish, then the previous renter will likely be trying to sell the floor on to you, or maybe they took it with them. (In older apartments the flooring is usually there because the previous renters decided it wasn’t worth fussing over). If you don’t know to expect this (and why would you, if you’re not Dutch) it can be quite a shock. It’s just one of those things that is completely normal to the locals and very strange to you as the outsider.
If you’re interested in learning more about the opportunities available at Tasman, do not hesitate to reach out or send along your resume. We are always looking for individuals who are ready to make the move into international consulting.