12 March 2021 ... min. read Listen

Philippine den Brave

I’m in precisely the right place for fast-paced variety

Finance and statistics were her best subjects while Philippine was doing her degree in business administration, but she became increasingly interested in what she originally regarded as ‘soft’ topics such as organisational behaviour.

After completing her bachelor’s in business administration at Erasmus University, Philippine took a year out to travel plus she did internships at an NGO and at Ahold. “Then I had to decide which master’s to do, and although I was drawn to HR even then, I ended up choosing a double master’s in international management. That entailed six months in Dublin and six months in Lisbon, which I wouldn’t have missed for the world. The course also included some HR-related modules and I realised it was an area that really interested me.”

An HR internship at Danone confirmed it. “I was in my element! In fact, stayed on after the internship to provide maternity cover for two colleagues. And by that time I’d already applied for the HR traineeship at ING. I started here in April 2019.”

As many facets of HR as possible

“I wanted to do a traineeship as a way of gaining more knowledge and in order to experience as many facets of HR as possible, and I’ve certainly made the most of that opportunity over the past two years. My first assignment was in the Global HR Strategy and Transformation team which is working on a new operational model for HR. The aim is for HR to support the business in all ING countries in the same way. One part of the programme is the HR Academy, and I was mainly focused on that.”

Performance and rewards in Frankfurt

“My second assignment was in Frankfurt, in the Performance & Rewards team. I really enjoyed my time there. I made lots of friends and learnt a lot too. Performance and rewards is an interesting topic. Obviously, banks are subject to very strict regulations related to rewards and the laws are even tighter in Germany than they are in the Netherlands. My role was to help the HR business partners with providing guidelines and advice to managers. That entailed a lot of contact with an external consultant as well as with the other members of the team.”

From one project to the next

“I’m now in my first permanent role within the traineeship. Because of the pandemic I’ve had to work from home so far, but luckily I’m part of a large team so I always have someone to turn to if I have any questions. We’re a team of flexible HR business partners who can be deployed if a business line needs extra HR support, so I go from one project to the next. It’s a perfect way to find out what I’m capable of, what I’m interested in and enjoy doing, and which business line I’d eventually like to work in as an HR business partner.”

“I spend half my time on a long-running project to help people within ING to find a new job. Besides that, I’m involved in various other projects, sometimes as a team member and sometimes as the lead. I’ve participated in transformations, organised workshops together with two other trainees and set up an internal community to match supply and demand related to projects. Plus I’ve conducted research into how we can make the traineeship even better in the Netherlands.”

Right place

“So my wish came true in terms of experiencing lots of different aspects of HR! Now I just need to learn to slow down sometimes and find the right balance. That’s hard for me, because I enjoy doing so many different things and fast-paced variety energises me. In that respect, I’m in precisely the right place.”

About Philippine

Sport is Philippine’s way of letting off steam. She regularly takes her road bike out for a spin, enjoys running and does kickboxing twice a week. She is also a nature lover, prefers being outdoors rather than in, and spends a lot of time with her friends and her three older brothers.

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