As an engineer I am attracted to optimising processes. That’s exactly what I did in my first rotation of the program.

Before moving to Belgium, Alejandro only knew about the beer and the fries. Six months later, he knows a lot more. “The learning curve has been insane.” A story about exploring the world and banking as an industrial engineer.

How did you end up at ING?

I moved around quite a bit in my life. I lived in Europe, South America and the US. I studied industrial engineering in Spain. Mastered in Management and Innovation in Sweden. And I was ready to move to Japan for an exchange program when covid happened. Asia was no longer an option.

Then this friend of mine from Turkey told me about the International Talent Program at ING. Working in an international company and meeting people from around the world really appealed to me. I applied for the operations and change track and came to Belgium.

How does industrial engineering relate to banking?

I didn’t know anything about banking. But as an engineer, I am attracted to optimising processes and increasing efficiency. That’s exactly what I did in my first rotation of the program. Digitalising the customer journey, improving campaign targeting based on customer behaviour, …

My next rotation is in transformation which will bring me closer to banking. Route 24 is the internal name of the strategy of the bank for the next few years. So I can imagine I’ll be learning more about the banking business.

How was the learning so far?

The learning curve has been insane. The first couple of weeks, I was lost. I didn’t understand what everybody was working on. But I found my way around. As soon as you start owning more pieces of information, your knowledge gradually grows. That’s very satisfying.

Changing jobs after a number of months is tough but interesting. It’s tough to leave what you only just mastered and you have to start all over again. But you’ve done it before, so you kind of know that you’ll make it this second time around as well.

What’s your biggest like?

I was quite surprised to see that everything they say about the ING culture and the people is true. People are extremely nice and helpful. All you have to do is ask people and they will gladly tell you what you want to know. Networking is a way of life over here.

And we have a lot of nationalities around here. Belgian, Spanish, Swiss, Indian, you name it. Before moving to Brussels, I only heard about the beer and the fries. But I love the city. I enjoy meeting new people, talking to strangers.

What are you looking forward to?

I’m really looking forward to further rotations. In the second year chances are that you can take on an assignment outside of your scope. Or even move abroad. I hope to get the opportunity to live and work in Asia after all. Experience life there.

About Alejandro

  • Studied Industrial Engineering in Spain
  • Mastered in Management and Innovation in Sweden
  • Joined the International Talent Program at ING Belgium
  • Loves meeting new people and talking to strangers in Brussels
  • Organises events for the trainee network that combine learning and fun
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