IT can become really exciting, if you just approach things with motivation. I'm excited about the technology of course, but above all I'm excited about the people and minds behind it.
When you hear "ING" what is the first word that comes to mind:
What inspires you?
Simply to approach a task with motivation
Can you briefly tell us how you came to be at ING?
Felicitas: After graduating secondary school, I asked myself what I wanted to do next. Since I’ve always been interested in computers and IT, I did a technical diploma in computer science. With that in my pocket, I then applied for an apprenticeship as an IT specialist for system integration at ING, using the classic online procedure. After my first telephone interview, I was invited for a job interview. This was very interesting, because it was not a classic interview, but a group interview. It was primarily about how we solve tasks in a team and tackle issues together with others and that was really fun. Of course, I was very happy at the time that the training position worked out. I’m currently in my first year of training.
What exactly does “IT specialist for system integration” mean?
Felicitas: System integration is all about ensuring that everything runs smoothly in the IT area and with all the company’s systems, devices and users. While the application development specialists work in the programing area, we configure and support the systems. If problems occur with the hardware, we come up with solutions to eliminate or improve them, so that the workflow in the company as a whole runs optimally. In doing so, we work closely with the other IT departments.
What do you think is special about the ING training program?
Felicitas: First of all, it’s exciting that the focus is on team-oriented work and learning.
The trainee program starts for everyone with the so-called introduction week. Together with the other trainees and dual students, you get to know different areas of the company. This is followed by a "flying visit week" during which I was able to get an impression of many IT areas. This gave me a good initial overview of how the company is developed. The actual training includes practical work on site and block instruction at the vocational school. IT specialists also attended selected "Provadis seminars". The Provadis School of International Management and Technology is an external training company. Specific IT topics are dealt with in greater depth there. I find project-related work particularly interesting. As a trainee you’re not just an observer, you’re right in the middle of things from the start and are motivated to develop your own solutions for different tasks. Independent work is very much encouraged here: for example, there's a special trainee project. Our current project is a Raspberry Phone. This is a "do-it-yourself" smartphone that is designed on the basis of the Raspberry Pi minicomputer. We trainees implement our smartphone project all by ourselves: from the concept to the assembly of the necessary components. When everything is ready, we present our results in a big round. We’ll be competing against another trainee team from Nuremberg. It’s like a small competition, which is very motivating and strengthens our sense of unity.
What are the most attractive social benefits and extras for you at ING?
Felicitas: The job ticket and the above-average training salary are two real advantages at ING. I also like the sport opportunities. The delicious canteen with its good and financially attractive lunch menu for internal employees is great. I take advantage of this offer regularly.
What other things motivate you in life besides your job? What are your passions?
Felicitas: Because of my flexible working hours at ING, I have enough time for my favorite hobby: apparatus gymnastics. I go once a week. I’ve been doing gymnastics on a competitive level for many years and I would like to keep that up. Overall, sport is very important to me.
Is IT typically a non-typical profession for women? What’s your opinion?
Felicitas: Sure, women are a bit rare in technical professions and especially in IT. My vocational school class consisted of 24 students and only 3 of them were women. That was a bit strange at the beginning, but now it's not a problem at all. We have a good relationship with each other in our class and exchange a lot of information. I’ve never had the feeling that I have a special role as a female IT trainee here at my workplace. Why should I? To solve tasks, we form teams that are put together according to skills and interests, regardless of whether we are male or female. I also felt right away that I have good development prospects in the IT sector. The digital change can be felt everywhere in the company. After finishing my apprenticeship, I can also easily imagine studying computer science. The company is open to personal development and there are many opportunities to put this into practice.
How did you experience ING as an employer, your colleagues and the corporate culture?
Sometimes it is the little things that make a company like ING and its special corporate culture stand out. For example, when you get on or off an elevator here, you say hello. I think that's great. Saying "hello" (instead of silently looking away) has a lot to do with respect, especially if you haven't become personally acquainted yet. It’s exactly this respect that is part of the collegial togetherness here. As a result, the company as a whole doesn’t feel anonymous, but forms a real community.