I hope that I can truly call myself a young professional by the end of my internship
An internship is not a compulsory part of his degree but Sandeep Gajadhar was keen to gain practical experience, preferably in quantitative risk management. Furthermore, his timetable offered room for him to do so at this stage in his studies so he contacted the ING campus recruiter through LinkedIn.
‘I’m currently in a “transition year” – an extra year during which I study compulsory and recommended subjects to prepare me for a master in quantitative risk management. I didn’t have many subjects timetabled in the first half of the year so it seemed like the ideal opportunity for me to gain some experience in practice. I’m keen to know how the business works. In view of the type of master I intend to do, an internship at a financial institution was the logical choice. I contacted various people through LinkedIn, including the ING campus recruiter who responded very quickly. There wasn’t a concrete internship vacancy at that time, but my interviews with the recruiter and subsequently a couple of risk managers went well and before I knew it I was offered this placement.
I work in the Portfolio Measurement & Analysis team which forms part of the Credit & Trading Risk Financial Institutions/Financial Markets department. We contribute to ING’s financial stability. We evaluate the trading risks in ING’s various product portfolios based on “value at risk” models and profit and loss analysis. This requires us to have contact with ING’s risk managers all over the world, from Asia and Eastern Europe to America. Our risk reports are shared with all risk managers, the board of directors and various departments within ING. In addition, my team is responsible for measuring and analysing capital from trading activities, projects and the implementation of regulations imposed by The Dutch Bank and the European Central Bank. In my first few months I spent a lot of time reading up on the rules and policies, and I now conduct analysis and produce the daily and weekly reports. In the months ahead I hope to become competent in all reporting activities, to write macros and to work on my first real project.
I’ve learnt to be patient. In the risk department we’re not only heavily reliant on one another but also on the other offices around the world. We need updates from them in order to do our job. My communication skills have improved too, along with my fluency in English. The majority of people in my team aren’t Dutch so we speak English around 80 percent of the time. There’s already been an improvement in my analytical skills as well, although I hope to enhance them much more in the months ahead. What else? I’ve become better at multitasking and picking up the pace. I hope that I can truly call myself a “young professional” by the time I leave here. If not, it certainly won’t be due to a lack of support because two of my closest colleagues are very patiently teaching me all the ins and outs of the job. I can ask them anything, they really are my two “allies” at work.
Informal and no-nonsense
It’s partly thanks to them that I feel so at home here at ING. The company and the culture are a good fit for me. There’s an informal, accessible but also no-nonsense atmosphere – it’s about getting things done. The people in my team are amazingly intelligent, ambitious and hard-working, but they also make time for a laugh and a joke or a chat in the coffee corner. On top of it all, ING puts a high value on diversity and I appreciate that. Respect for everyone really is part of ING’s DNA.’
Sandeep is studying for a bachelor in economics and business economics at VU University Amsterdam. Besides working hard at his studies and as an intern, he also enjoys student life – going out for drinks, spending nights out (or in) with his friends or simply relaxing at home. He also finds it important to keep fit and can often be found at the gym.