I studied Eastern European languages at Ghent University for four years, during which I spent one semester in Moscow. After finishing my studies, I backpacked for a few months across South-East Asia. I decided after my return to attain a master degree in General Management at Vlerick.
In order to pay for these studies I worked six months as a store manager for Bongo, leading a team of 6 people. This was a wonderful first real working experience that taught me a lot about people management, sales and attaining KPI’s. During my year at Vlerick I gained analytical, financial and soft skills, which should prepare us for starting our career.
During this year at Vlerick I compared a lot of Belgian traineeships and finally made the decision to choose for ING, because of the length of the rotations. For me it was really important that I could take up real responsibilities during my traineeship. Because the rotations are approximately one year, you really get to make a difference for the business you are working in.
I am following the Retail track, because it provides a broad overview of the bank that is not only focused on the core-banking aspects. I started my first rotation in October in Marketing as an NPS coordinator. NPS is the Net Promotor Score, a score to evaluate whether or not clients would recommend us to their friends, family or colleagues. This score is one of the main KPI’s of the bank and is an important measurement of customer satisfaction. NPS surveys help ING earning the primary relationship with the client, because we follow up closely what improvement actions we can take to improve the experience for the client.
This function had more challenges, such as organizing intake meetings, during which there is exposure to a lot of managers, coordinate the implementation with the external company, analyze the results and make a report, present the results and help develop an action plan based on customer feedback and set up a communication plan.
In December I was asked to take up a second role in the Content and Conversation team. They provide content for social media channels. In this team I am responsible for the music and football content and the reporting of the (active and passive) presence of ING on social media. It is a quite exciting challenge, because in June we launched a platform where music and football are combined, that required my involvement in the organizational aspect of this launch.
I am enthusiastic about the traineeship, because you really take on serious responsibilities from day 1. We get a lot of trainings to develop our soft and hard skills that are useful in daily working life. Another unique aspect about the traineeship is the fact that we meet once a year with all trainees worldwide for trainings in the Netherlands. In that way we work together with our peers from different cultures and share experiences that cross borders.
In September I will start a new rotation in a more commercial function. I really look forward to developing more core-banking skills and to have a direct contact with the client. My goal is to do a Short Term Assignment in Moscow, to combine my master degree Russian with the traineeship. I am sure this will prove itself to be an unforgettable experience. Preferably after I finish the traineeship, I would take up a challenge with closer contact with Russian speaking (corporate) clients. But I still have a few years time to think about it.