29 May 2019 ... min read Listen

My first interview with a customer? With clammy hands.

Maaike, commercial trainee at ING, speaks about her first client interview, learning spurts and warm colleagues.

The first time I set out on an assignment all by myself, I had clammy hands. I had a meeting with a good friend of mine, who is a freelancer in a secondary profession. You want to do everything well, to answer every question satisfactorily. Afterwards, you realise that there is no reason to be afraid. You know that you are getting better every day. And that you can always rely on your colleagues for help.

It feels like home

I have always felt at home in the bank. My mother works for ING for many years. In addition to my masters in political science I also studied business economics, to emphasize on the technical aspects of banking, like analyses. This traineeship was a logical choice for me. It was an ideal way to become even better acquainted with the bank.

During the first year, you learn to act as a consultant for small-scale self-employed entrepreneurs and businesses. Payment terminals, loans, professional insurance, pensions. The next step is advising SMEs. However, you can also opt for a role as a loan expert. Or as the manager of a loan team.

How do you build a relationship of trust with a client in a banking world where managing your banking affairs online is becoming more and more matter-of-course?

One learning spurt after another

I am someone who always wants to know everything. To dig deeply in order to understand things. This is quite a challenge in a world like banking, which is continually changing. Technology. Legislation. You are constantly learning more, whether you are a trainee or not. That keeps things interesting.

But you are never thrown to the lions unprepared. It is not until the third month or so that you start doing things fully independently. And you build up your competencies gradually. Besides this, you can always count on the support of your colleagues.

Closely involved with the organisation

Six months into my traineeshipI had an interview with the manager of my manager. He asked me for my perspective on the banking world. And if I could think up a project that would focus on how we, as a bank, could do things differently. This is how I started working on an interesting project about the client onboarding process. Being able to work on projects next to being a client advisor gave me a lot of exposure within the ING retail network.

How do you build a relationship of trust with a client in a banking world where managing your banking affairs online is becoming more and more matter-of-course? This is something we are giving a great deal of thought, together with quite a few of our colleagues. With a series of workshops as the first step. This ensures that you are closely involved with the organisation.

Amazed by the people

You are really at the epicentre when it comes to dynamics. On the one hand, you are working at a company that always wants to improve, to whom progress is a priority. On the other hand, this is also what your customers want. And you play a key part in this.

That, in itself, is fantastic. But what really, truly amazed me was the people here. Everyone is different and wants to help you. As a result, you don’t only get to know others; you also learn more about yourself. This is exactly where our strength lies. It gives you an incredible amount of energy.

About Maaike

  • Started in 2018 as Commercial Trainee business banking, more specific as a Business Banker Professional
  • Lives in Ninove
  • Studied political and social sciences and afterwards business management
  • Enjoys doing yoga, reading and loves the sun
  • As a vegetarian, she gets excited about fruit and vegetables
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