Petra van Ojik
You have to knuckle down to study as soon as you start work as an advisor
‘Seeking people with hospitality in their blood who want to be an ambassador for the bank’, stated the job vacancy for a Branch Advisor at ING. Those words were music to Petra van Ojik’s ears.
“Having spent four years as a hotel manager, I was ready for something new. I didn’t really know what went on at an ING branch – I’m a member of the digital generation, we do everything online. But the vacancy sparked my interest and that initial positive reaction was reaffirmed during the selection process, which comprised an evening of interviews and role-play situations. It’s hard to explain but I immediately felt at home in terms of the people and the pleasant, informal atmosphere. And I turned out to be a good fit for the job.”
“As a Branch Advisor I provide advice to customers at our branch in Veendam. We get all kinds of people coming in: entrepreneurs and consumers, young and old, from people in bankruptcy situations to extremely wealthy clients. Their enquiries range from opening an account to questions about a phishing mail or because they want to learn more about contactless payments. We want to make our customers more digitally savvy, and we help them with things like online banking and the mobile banking app.”
Knuckle down to study
“All advisors have to be able to provide a broad range of advice, about all of our products, which means we’re continuously learning. We not only have to attain the relevant certificates in line with the Dutch Financial Supervision Act (WFT), but ING also expects us to work on broadening our horizons. You have to knuckle down to study as soon as you start work as an advisor, and you’re expected to attain the first two compulsory certificates within your first three months – the WFT Basis and the WFT Consumer Credit. After that, you do WFT Damage - Consumer, WFT Damage - Business and WFT Wealth. I like to keep expanding my knowledge, and from the customer’s perspective it’s nice that the same person can help them with various matters.”
“We’re definitely given all the scope we need to work on our development. There’s the TalentForward programme focused on personal development, for example, which is especially for new employees. As part of that programme, I meet with a New Talent Coach every six weeks to discuss a topic of my choice. On top of that I have access to the TalentForward platform which contains all kinds of theoretical information, training courses and challenges. ING organises live events too. The most recent one was about ‘Pushing Boundaries’. It was a full day in which all of us, as the ‘new talents’, attended a diverse programme of workshops ranging from yoga to kickboxing and also ‘dialogue workshops’. I think it’s terrific that ING invests so much time and energy in us.”
“But that’s not the only reason I feel so at home at ING. My colleagues are another reason – everyone genuinely wants to help one another. It’s an atmosphere of complete openness, you can say whatever you want and your colleagues are always there for you to bounce ideas off. That’s exactly what I’m looking for in a job. And as for the work itself, I’ve been surprised by just how interesting it is. I learn something new every day, both ‘on the job’ and because I’m still studying. Not only that, but what I do has a direct impact on our clients – and that’s a really rewarding combination!”
Petra did two bachelor’s degrees: facility management and hospitality management. After a brief period as a buyer for a care institution and working for a recruitment agency, she spent four years in charge of a 24-room hotel on a golf course in Assen. It was a dream combination for her at that time because she played golf at a high level. Golf continues to be an important part of her life; she is a good amateur and enjoys “playing a lot, and getting out there frequently to have fun and keep improving.” Petra’s boyfriend shares her love of golf.