Wouter van Eck
A master in finance – yes or no? Perhaps an internship will help him decide
After obtaining his bachelor in business administration, Wouter van Eck knew one thing for sure: he didn’t want to immediately start studying for a master. He has already given some consideration to which master to do, however, and it will probably be in finance. But he thought it would be wise to take a good look around first, just to make sure, which is how he has ended up on a six-month internship placement at ING.
“I developed an interest in finance while studying for my degree in business administration. I discovered that I’m particularly good with figures and analytical subjects, so I automatically found finance more fun and interesting than management or HRM. But I didn’t really have a clear idea of what finance and the banking world actually entail. I sailed through my bachelor studies fairly easily, so I had the chance to take a year out as an intern. A friend of mine had already done an internship within Corporate Clients and was really enthusiastic about it. He put me in contact with ING.
Starting out at Energy & Infra
I help the associates from the Energy & Infra team. Within Corporate Clients, the relationship managers are the ones who maintain contact with the customers – companies with a turnover of more than 250 million euros. They are supported by associates who are younger employees in their first role within the bank, and then I support them. Energy & Infra is an interesting and dynamic sector, with large companies involved in huge projects. The fact that Dutch companies have a lot of impact in this sector makes it even more fascinating.
My work entails doing analysis, preparing presentations, conducting research into the market or the company itself, and all kinds of other tasks. For example, I’m working on a model which will be able to forecast a company’s future performance. I find it particularly interesting when I’m allowed to sit in on meetings about major projects or if I can listen in on telephone conversations with customers. Most of the terminology still sounds like complete mumbo jumbo to me, and I’m not able to provide any input yet of course. But I’m definitely learning a lot by noting down my questions and discussing them with people in the team afterwards. Everyone is really willing to help me, which is great. The managing director of my team is officially my internship supervisor, and l can always turn to the rest of the team as well. You can definitely tell that the people at ING are used to supervising and coaching interns. Everyone is really open and I can ask them anything – as long as I time it right, because they’re all really busy too. They offer me lots of advice; everyone is always giving me tips for how I can make the very of my time as an intern. I can learn so much here, plus in turn I also make a substantial contribution to the team’s work of course.
My stint ends after five months and then I’ll most probably do another internship elsewhere. And as for that master in finance? I’m still not entirely sure whether to do it, but my first experiences in the world of finance have definitely been positive ones.”
Wouter obtained his bachelor in business administration from Erasmus University Rotterdam. He also lives in Rotterdam and is still very much into the student lifestyle, ‘which can sometimes be a little difficult to combine with my internship’. For the duration of his internship he has transferred his sporting activities to Amsterdam, where he works out a couple of times a week in the ING gym. He spends the rest of his time being an intern, commuting between Amsterdam and Rotterdam or socialising.