29 May 2019 ... min read Listen

I caught a bug. Banking.

Ruben, ITP trainee in wholesale banking, inherited a passion for banking from his father. Today, he can allow this to flourish at ING.

The best choice

I looked at almost all the traineeships that were offered. I also looked into consultancy but what didn’t appeal to me is that, working as a consultant, you never get to translate your advice into concrete actions. Also, I wanted to gain an impression of the various roles in the banking world.

The best choice for me was ING’s International Talent Programme. Because of the rotating jobs and the international aspect. You’re allowed to go on an assignment abroad. I applied for an analyst position in the Capital Structuring and Advisory department in Singapore.

When you are involved in a deal of such a size as a youngster, your hands do become a little clammy.

Wholesale banking

Wholesale banking is all about corporates. Companies with a huge revenue. Takeovers, loan packages, the issuance of bonds: it’s all about big deals and a lot is expected of you. Fortunately, you are never alone.

I was able to take my place around the negotiating table during a takeover very early in the process. Observing how CEOs negotiate and how we advise them. When you are involved in deals of that size as a youngster, your hands do become a little clammy.

Learning when you’re young

One of the things I noticed is that people are really open to young people. Everyone has to learn. The best way to do it is to shadow someone and ask a lot of questions. The more questions, the better. This accelerates your learning curve. Of course, this is only possible in an open company culture. Like the one at ING.

The trainees amongst themselves are a close-knit group. This starts at kick-off session, which is held in Amsterdam and lasts two weeks. The relationships you build there are lasting. Having fun together, but also sharing experiences and tips.

About Ruben

  • Studied Applied Economic Sciences
  • Went on to take courses in banking & finance a business school
  • Wanted primarily to hone his negotiation skills
  • Is hoping for an assignment in Singapore
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