Melissa Castelyn

Company Role:
Financial Controller


What do you do at Omnia Retail?
I am responsible for most of the operational work in the finance department. This stretches from debtors and creditors control to month-end closing, year-end closing, reporting, invoicing, payments and any other financial related items that the business needs. 

What is something people in your industry have to deal with that you want to fix?
Finance work is historically quite manual, but with tools like PowerBI and Python, I believe the way finance departments run can be much more automated. I would like to find and implement these ways and tools that are available and transform the way finance works. 
I also feel strongly about mitigating mental-load in the workplace.  There is a lot of research on how the way of work can affect your mental load, and in turn your stress levels. By using better ways of working, communication and task-management in departments and across whole businesses, this can be reduced significantly. There really are some brilliant schools of thought on this topic, as well as very innovative software and tools that can be used.

What is your past experience, of working in your position?
I am a South African Chartered Accountant (=bAcc degree+masters+3 years articles+board exams). My articles were completed at Africa’s biggest retailer, a corporate company called Shoprite Checkers. During those 3 years I moved through the whole company, seeing almost every department. I stayed on for another 3 years in various departments, after which I made the move to the Netherlands, starting off at a media start-up for 2 years before landing at Omnia.

What do you like about working at Omnia Retail so far?
The way of working and culture really makes it a great place to work. Everyone is given full trust from day one and this really creates a sense of ownership. I enjoy the freedom that we are given to be who we are and fulfil our roles in ways that work best for us as individuals. 

What are the values that drive you?
Self-reflection, honesty, trust, loyalty, ingenuity.

What are your top favorite books, podcasts, or documentaries?
A fine balance - Rohinton Mistry
Human Kind: A Hopeful history - Rutger Bregman
Culture Map – Erin Meyer

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I love travelling, especially to places by the sea, so that I can have a daily swim. When in Amsterdam, I enjoy a lot of yoga, dinners with friends, going to the theatre and live performances. I am also learning Spanish as an extra language and have weekly online tutor classes.

Let’s end with your favorite quote!
“If you think you are beaten, you are. If you think you dare not, you don’t. If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t, it’s almost certain you won’t. Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later,  the man who wins is the man who thinks he can.” - Walter D. Wintle