Matthieu Van Langenhove
I studied Engineering in Computer Science at Ghent University, where I did my thesis at Arcelor Mittal. After graduating, I worked as a software engineer in a startup. The year after I joined ING as an IT trainee. In my spare time I usually play basketball.
Why the IT traineeship?
I discovered the traineeship through the ING job site. I was looking for a traineeship because it gives me the opportunity to discover my broad interests in a short time span. ING was one of the few offering a specific traineeship for IT, so I applied for it.
Why did you decide to go for a bank?
I must admit that the financial sector, especially banks, wasn’t the most inspiring sector to me. I had heard about the first “So you think you can code” hackathon, organized by ING. I was intrigued by this event since hackathons were a big hype in the US. I absolutely wanted to participate in this, so with 3 friends from University we accepted the challenge, and it was a success: with third place we even ended up with a prize. It was a great experience, plus I got to know ING as something more than just a bank.
Specificities of the IT-track
In the IT-track your first job is in the IT department. Today everything in a bank is IT. Whether it’s a mobile application, the network infrastructure, business intelligence reporting or marketing campaigns on social media; IT is always involved. This first year in IT allows you to get a general view on how projects are handled on IT side. Your second job (also 1 year) is preferably outside IT, to get to know the other side of projects and see how the business departments work. This is a huge benefit since communication between IT and business is not always the easiest. It’s vital to understand both sides so obstacles can easily be overcome.
My journey at ING
I started my traineeship in the Business Intelligence team. It was great that I could work on a real-life project from the beginning. The European Central Bank requested new statistics and I had to collect and report the data. You learn a lot on the job, and combined with the extra trainings, the traineeship helps you a great deal forward. Currently I’m working on a huge 3-year program to migrate several applications to a new platform. It’s nice to get responsibilities from day one and I get to meet a lot of people in various departments because Business Intelligence is used everywhere across the bank.
A moment to share
Each year during the traineeship you get training in the Netherlands, with all international trainees of your generation. For me this was the greatest moment so far. It’s a though 3-week program packed with trainings, but you learn so much and you get to meet so many new people from around the world that it is worth it. It truly aids you in creating an international network.
The traineeship allows me to grow professionally in both technical and soft skills. I’d like to keep up this pace and we’ll see what new opportunities arise during and after the traineeship. It’s definitely a stepping stone for my future career.