ING’s TraineeNetwork: Discover so much more besides your own track

Photo, from left to right: Tim Slingerland (Risk), Inge Horrevorts (HR), Ellen Maes (Finance), Jesper van Drenthen (Operations &Change), Eva van Weel (IT), Coen Borren (Retail Banking) and Esmee Uffing (Wholesale Banking).

The ING TraineeNetwork organises events for trainees and former trainees who are keen to look beyond the borders of their own track and/or department. Inge Horrevorts and Tim Slingerland are both in the network’s core team.

The aim of the TraineeNetwork is to offer ING trainees access to a broader network than just their immediate colleagues and trainees on the same track. In that context, the network organises a wide range of activities and events, from topical presentations to networking drinks. These are organised and coordinated by the core team, which comprises one trainee from each of the seven tracks within ING’s International Trainee Programme (ITP). Inge, HR trainee, has been involved since late 2016. Tim, Risk trainee, joined the team in 2018.

Inge: “We strive to organise at least one cross-track event per month, such as a ‘Behind the Numbers’ session which analyses ING’s performance twice a year. Last time it was presented by Steven van Rijswijk (CRO ING Global) and Mark Milders (Head of Investor Relations). But the events can also be activities or drinks with trainees from a different company. Anything is possible, as long as it appeals to our trainees and they take something valuable away from it – such as new contacts or knowledge about a new topic.”

First alumni event

The team recently organised the first-ever alumni event, which was attended by no less than 130 current and former trainees. “The 2006 intake was one of the most heavily represented,” says Tim. “That’s when you realise just how many people have started here as a trainee.”

Another well-attended session was about how to arrange a short-term assignment (STA). Almost all first-year trainees do an STA abroad during their second rotation and they always have lots of questions about what exactly it entails. Tim: “More advanced trainees shared their experiences during the session, and there was plenty of time to deal with all the first-year trainees’ questions. It was a very well-received and highly appreciated initiative!”

New technologies

Meetings about new technologies are also particularly popular. Inge: “We were bursting at the seams for a deep dive about blockchain, and the same was true for a presentation on artificial intelligence, which was one of the best-attended events of the year.” 

The core team think up the majority of the topics for the sessions themselves, but other people are always very welcome to make suggestions. Thanks to a Retail Banking trainee’s idea, for example, the team organised a day to allow school pupils with a refugee background to see day-to-day life at a bank. “It was a very special experience, not only for them but also for us.”

Extending further

The TraineeNetwork not only extends further than the trainee’s own track, but also further than ING itself. For example, the activities have included Banker’s Bowling in conjunction with Rabobank, a boat trip on Amsterdam’s canals with trainees from KLM, and Rooftop Networking Drinks with trainees from Rabobank and ABN Amro. Both: “It’s really interesting to get to know trainees from other companies and to discover the similarities and differences. These kinds of activities really help you to build up your own network too. And after all, that’s the most important aim of the TraineeNetwork – besides gaining knowledge, helping one another to get on and having fun, of course.” And, with a welcome meeting enabling each new intake of trainees to meet current trainees and the management of their track right at the start of the traineeship, the networking can get under way from the outset.

Who is it for?

The TraineeNetwork events are open to all trainees and former trainees. No membership is involved; you simply attend the events that appeal to you. All trainees are automatically added to the mailing list so they will receive an invitation to each event by email. 

If you have an idea for an event, share it with the core team! Send an email to Traineenetwork@ing.nl

About Tim

Tim Slingerland has been a Risk Management trainee since April 2017 and has already worked at ING Spain and ING in São Paulo, Brazil. He is now working in his first permanent role, in the Model Risk Management team in Amsterdam.

About Inge

Inge Horrevorts is a trainee on the HR track and joined ING in October 2016. Inge has also worked at ING in Madrid. She started in her first permanent role, within Talent Management for ING in the Netherlands, in August 2017. She is now HR Business Partner for two business lines: COO (Operations) and Staff Departments.

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