In the spotlight: Ralph, principal and lead trainer

Education to support AI transformations at clients world-wide

Ralph Smeets brings 7 years of experience working on AI solutions and education at MIcompany, with a core focus on people development within the GAIn Academy: ''People development is a passion of mine that started early, sparked by my father who was a primary school teacher. I’ve been active in education throughout my studies and professional life, from being part of student boards, to doing my PhD - and training actual doctors on team collaboration. All of this has led me to find my dream job at MIcompany and GAIn.''

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Why is this your dream job?

''It combines two things that I love – on the one hand understanding the theory behind artificial intelligence and machine learning, and how companies build use cases to apply these technologies. On the other hand also understanding what is needed from a company’s culture, way of working and people to drive successful AI transformations. As I’m especially focused on the business populations (rather than data science or engineering), the content I deliver, including technical topics, has to translate to and engage with a business audience. I prepare for my trainings by thinking about real-life examples from projects I’ve worked on. If there’s a topic I don’t understand or am that familiar with, I just turn to a colleague who can tell me all I need to know about it and why it’s relevant. It’s invaluable having all this expertise inhouse. And it’s a two way street, where both sides get challenged to think about what questions people from different levels and roles in the organization might ask.''


What is most important for you in your role?

''It's very intriguing how much I can keep growing. We have our set products, the standardized GAIn trainings and programs, but they’re constantly evolving due to continuous developments in the field of AI, as well as the diverse groups from different companies we’re training. With varying perspectives, needs and levels of knowledge, you have to learn new ways of delivering the same content, to optimize the learning experince of the participants. This is something I thoroughly enjoy. I love being able to open up new doors and enable people to look at things from different angles. To illustrate this idea, we all look at art differently. The same principle applies in the field of data & AI – the more knowledge you have about something, the more possibilities there are, and you are more likely to see them.''


What does a work week look like for you?

''A lot of different things happen in my week! Some key tasks are:

  • Discussing with companies who want to start upskilling their employees

  • Training companies on different data & AI topics

  • Meeting existing clients to evaluate programs and discuss next steps

  • Improving the training portfolio to match client needs

  • Coaching trainers, employees and participants''

What helps you succeed in your role?

''The training content of GAIn is so well established that it always delivers a lot of value. Our office training facilities are great to work from, and during 2020 we developed a new virtual training environment which helps us train more people in all corners of the world. As part of this virtual set up we also professionalized our Learning Management System with all the course content, booklets, exercises and exams. The high quality of the trainings makes our participants have high expectations, and this in turn always keeps us on our toes to deliver the best AI trainings in the market. There’s a continuous feedback loop to create a first-class training experince, both prior, during and after the training has ended. This plays a big role in the success of the programs, and helps me do my job better.''

Does Ralph’s job sound interesting to you?

We’re hiring a Lead Trainer to join his team and be part of the important journey of educating people to drive AI transformations.

What is GAIn?

The Global Artificial Intelligence network (GAIn®) is an initiative of MIcompany that offers a worldwide open standard portfolio in AI skill building for individuals and businesses through a members’ network. GAIn aims to build and certify all skills within organizations to radically change key processes and increase productivity using AI. The scalable and modular training portfolio consists of more than 60 courses and certifications and is designed by industry experts with over 15 years of experience. GAIn has issued more than 6000 certificates and is trusted by blue-chip companies, including eBay, Heineken, Nike, ABN AMRO, KPN, AEGON, Bol, Ageas, and Proximus.