Sophie van der Linden
I’m learning how HR theory is applied in practice
Her internship in ING’s New Talent department has helped Sophie van der Linden, a third-year student of human resource management, to realise that she wants to pursue coaching-based leadership. “I’m working in a team with a bunch of coaches and I find what they do so inspiring.” The department handles the recruitment, selection and development of advisors for ING’s branches.
“I spotted the vacancy for this internship on Facebook, posted by a fellow student. It immediately sparked my interest, especially because I knew that HR is very advanced in the banking sector. Besides that, ING is a big, well-known brand and I had the feeling that it’s a pioneering organisation, so it would be a great place to find out how HR works in reality.”
The New Talent department is responsible for the recruitment and selection of new advisors for ING’s branches nationwide. “We cover the entire HR process here, just on a smaller scale, for around 300 ‘new talents’. It’s a continuous process of inflow, throughflow and outflow. Among other things I handle the contact with temping agencies, process new candidates’ details and help to organise selection evenings. The department has developed the TalentForward programme for our young new advisors, which helps them to work on their own personal development goals at various levels: ‘who am I, what do I want to achieve, and how can I put my talents to good use when interacting with customers, within the team and within ING as a whole?’ They work together with a coach on a personal development plan. I’ve already sat in on a couple of coaching sessions and it’s really interesting. In fact, that’s part of the reason why I’ve decided to do a minor in coaching-based leadership.
Apart from that, twice a year we organise a TalentForward Event: a day full of energy, workshops and sharing experiences for all our New Talents. So there’s plenty to do here! I’m allowed to see and get involved in everything, so I’m learning a huge amount in a short time. And if I want to know more about a particular aspect, I just have to ask and then I’m given specific tasks. I’m spoilt for choice!”
“I feel right at home at ING. The team has welcomed me with open arms and I’ve never once had the feeling that I’m ‘just’ an intern. Funnily enough, it’s as if I’ve been working here for years, plus I’m definitely learning how the HR theory I’m studying is applied in practice. Soon, I’ll even be recruiting my own successor, which is not only interesting but also good for my CV!”
Sophie is studying human resource management at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Alongside her work at ING she has a part-time job at a bakery in Amsterdam. She is a keen footballer and plays together in a team with a group of friends in her village, which is close to Hoorn. When the local club fell on hard times, Sophie and one of her friends volunteered for the fundraising committee and their search for new sponsors was a big success. “Needless to say, I love the fact that ING is one of the main sponsors of Dutch football. In fact, I recently became an ING football ambassador!”