06 March 2019 ... min read Listen

Johannes Mende

The dynamics at ING make it possible to make a true impact

The Operations & Change track makes a significant mark on ING’s future, facilitating the major transition from a traditional bank to an IT company with a banking licence. Such a change requires talented employees with insight and dedication to design and implement the new organisational structure as efficiently as possible. Johannes Mende is one of them.

A strategic role involving detective skills

Johannes, who finished his Master in Science & Business Management at Utrecht University in 2017, started his traineeship at ING after completing a pre-assignment first. “ING gave me the opportunity to experience their culture and working environment before actually starting the traineeship. This taster showed me I was in the right place: a corporate with many options to focus on high quality learning, not being hindered by chaos. And it’s a fun place too! People are passionate about their jobs and the dynamics make it possible to make a true impact.”

One-to-one coaching

Trainees on the Operations & Change track help to think, initiate and implement changes in structure and processes that are needed for a successful transition. Trainees have a strategic role and provide input for the company’s future direction. “In my first rotation I worked in the Blackbelt team for Wholesale Banking, where we worked according to the Lean Six Sigma DMAIC principle. I had a great variety in tasks. The Define phase, for instance, did an appeal on my ‘detective skills’: interviewing people, reviewing documents, basically anything that is needed to really understand the process in detail. The Measure phase was more about stakeholder management, whereas the Analysis phase demanded an analytical approach. And so on! One of the most tricky parts was understanding and addressing the needs of all the stakeholders involved. By forming a project team including at least one member from each department and sharing information on a regular basis, we made sure all were aligned. I have learned a lot during this rotation, especially from my Blackbelt partner whom I worked with very closely on a daily basis. It was like having a coach on my side constantly.”

Five months abroad

Next to strategic thinking, Operations & Change Trainees work hands on with their teams – which Johannes experiences in his current rotation in Brussels. “My current job is part of what we call Client Services at ING. Here I work as both business manager and operational excellence manager for the Super Circle. As business manager I pick up a wide range of tasks for the leadership team. As OPEX manager I ensure that we can collaborate effectively with the tribes, them being the process owners.”

After finishing his second rotation Johannes will return to the Amsterdam office. He is in the phase of applying with some very nice options to choose from. “Being an Operations & Change Trainee gives me the opportunity to focus on what I love doing most: learning something new every day and performing my very best to solve challenging problems. I’m excited about everything I’ve achieved so far at ING and look forward to my next steps.”

About Johannes

Johannes is from Germany and moved to Sydney, Australia for his Bachelor Applied Physics – and catching some waves while surfing. In 2015 he moved to Utrecht for his Masters. In his free time you can find him in the boulder gym where he pushes himself to conquer climbing challenges.

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