Sabine van Heck
In practice we do everything as a team – very agile
I’ll definitely go abroad again,’ said Sabine van Heck after completing her short-term assignment in Manila, the Philippines. And she has definitely travelled since then, just not for ING. She has made great progress in her career, however.
Sabine joined ING in 2014 as a Wholesale Banking trainee. After an initial assignment in the Corporate Clients team for the Energy & Infra sector, she did an assignment in Corporate Lending. Sabine: “The analytical side of lending was a perfect fit with my academic background, and besides that I felt a strong click with the department – so strong, in fact, that I returned to the department for my first permanent role, which was as portfolio manager in the Telecom, Media & Technology team. I subsequently became a transaction manager with my own portfolio of customers.”
Between her second assignment and her first permanent role, Sabine spent three months working in the Philippines. “A short-term assignment abroad is part of the traineeship. It was fantastic to be exposed to a different set of dynamics and to experience the cultural differences compared with the Netherlands. It’s really interesting to see how the bank works in Asia. When I got back, I knew one thing for sure: I wanted to work abroad again, and for a longer period the next time around.”
That plan hasn’t come to fruition yet, although Sabine did take three months of unpaid leave in early 2019 to go travelling. “It’s terrific that ING allowed me to do that. I spent six weeks travelling around Colombia and then flew to southern Chile and travelled back to the north via Patagonia. As soon as I got back to the Netherlands I started in a new role: Vice President Diversified Lending in the Retail & Services sector team.”
“It’s a grand title for a job which is above all very interesting and very varied. In practice we do everything as a team – very agile. After all, we need to involve different disciplines in each deal. I still do hands-on work, analysing companies. I’m constantly balancing our commercial interests with the risks that we can afford to take on a loan.”
“Besides that, in the future I intend to increasingly focus on coaching and mentoring junior colleagues. It’s something I really enjoy, but it’s also a challenge. I still have a lot to learn about how to transfer my knowledge efficiently and which things I can better delegate to others; I sometimes tend to want to do too much of the work myself. In that case, it helps to remember how I’ve learned things – often thanks to senior colleagues who gave me the chance to tackle projects for myself.”
Sabine gained her Bachelor in Business Economics in Groningen and a Master in Financial Economics in Rotterdam. She spends a lot of time with friends and loves travelling, especially outside of Europe. Her dream is to spend a longer period of time living and working abroad, but first her time is taken up by a very different project: Sabine recently bought a house that needs to be completely renovated.