I’ve learnt just as much here during my internship as during three and a half years at university
‘Vacancy: graduation assignment within the ING social media team’. That announcement on LinkedIn came at the right time for the right person. Marieke Klauwers was looking for somewhere to do her graduation assignment for her degree in communication. Although she’d never expected to end up working at a bank with her degree and personal interests, the vacancy turned out to be right up her street. And her application was right on target too, because just two days later she received a phone call inviting her for an interview.
‘So I suddenly found myself sitting on a train from Limburg to the ING headquarters in Amsterdam: virtually the other side of the country. If I got accepted onto the placement, I’d have to move. I had no expectations as I entered the Acanthus building through the revolving door, although I did wonder whether the preconceptions about banks – stiff and formal – would be justified. But quite the opposite was true; I had a really nice, relaxed interview with a couple of young members of the team. It obviously went well because I was called back that same afternoon with the news that I’d got the job. Yes! Next stop Amsterdam!
Via contacts on social media I found a place to live in the ‘river district’; it’s a prime location less than ten minutes from ING’s offices. I joined a very young, ambitious and very hard-working team with a strong sense of team spirit and a very relaxed atmosphere. It’s the perfect balance for me and I felt at home there right from day one.
Working on the ING Community
My graduation assignment was my top priority during my internship, but I also helped out within the team of course. My research was focused on the ING Community which went live in January, at precisely the same time that I arrived. I investigated how ING can maintain, expand and leverage the Community. To do this it’s essential to work on building relationships both with and between users, and social media can play an important role.
The social media team is responsible for the content on all the social media platforms and is also involved in things like campaigns related to entrepreneurship, innovation and football (ING is a sponsor of the Dutch national squad and of amateur football). The aim is to enter into dialogue with customers through social media and also to offer them a little bit more than what’s requested or expected.
Taking social media to the next level
There’s such a lot going on within ING in terms of social media right now, it’s hugely interesting. I was curious to see how such a big company works with this medium and what the benefits are, and I must say that it’s really exceeded my expectations. My generation is very much into social media so you could easily think that you know it all already, but I’ve learnt so much in my time here: how social media is used within such a large organisation, how to create relevant content and how to enter into dialogue with customers. But also how to take social media to the next level by measuring and analysing data and using it as the basis for management and optimisation. I’ve learnt just as much here during my six-month internship as during three and a half years at university, and that’s thanks not least to the team and the community manager who has been my internship supervisor. She put me in contact with her network, which really helped my research.
I now know that I’m really well suited to working within such a dynamic organisation and team. I see my own ambition reflected in the other people in the social media team – they’re all young people who have got great jobs within a great company. And that’s what I’d like in a couple of years’ time too!’
Marieke is studying communication at Fontys University of Applied Sciences in Eindhoven. She grew up in the village of Leveroy in Limburg and goes back there every weekend in conjunction with her work at the local radio station, where she presents a show about what’s going on in Central Limburg every Saturday morning. In addition she has a weekend job in a tea shop, she’s on the PR committee of the village marching band and she also finds time to write two blogs: Kritische Krullen (‘Critical Curls’) and Het leed dat afstuderen heet (‘The trials and tribulations of graduating’). If she has any free time left in between all these activities, she spends it with her family, friends and boyfriend.