Anna Putria

An inspiring, exciting and challenging environment for young professionals

ING’s Corporate Strategy department provides strategic advice and consulting services to the Management Board of ING Bank. The department plays a crucial role in ING’s future and is a place where young professionals can kick-start their careers, explains Anna Putria, Managing Principal at Corporate Strategy. Aleksa Nikolić and Hanna Lenart, two Corporate Strategy alumni, share their own experiences.

Conceptual thinking

“The great thing about this work for me is that it revolves around conceptual thinking. The board members often reach out to us with questions which at times can be very specific and at times are quite broad, such as ‘What should be our strategic priorities for a particular business area?’. Our job is then to structurally break down a problem into smaller pieces and then tackle those one by one. So we define the objective as well as the journey towards it.”

Visible impact

Corporate Strategy appeals to Anna for multiple reasons: “The work itself is intellectually challenging; we have to deliver high-quality solutions within short time frames, and ensure a visible impact going forward. The key difference between external and internal consulting is that at Corporate Strategy we’re not only responsible for the design phase, but are also continuously involved in the follow-up to make sure that tangible results are achieved.”

“In addition, we have close contact with ING’s board members and senior management and get to see all the different business areas and functions within the bank; that’s quite an unusual role for young professionals. And last but not least, at Corporate Strategy you get the chance to work in a fantastic team: diverse, international, young and very driven.”

Steep learning curve

Aleksa Nikolić was part of that team until April 2021, when he moved to the Corporate Finance M&A team within Wholesale Banking. Aleksa: “My role at Corporate Strategy gave me an opportunity to discover exactly what I wanted to do ‘next’. You learn so much (and so quickly!) as you get to see various business areas and experience lots of different things in just a couple of years. You have direct exposure to top management; you’re involved in solving complex issues of high relevance for the bank and you gain a good understanding of the business. I’ve been given an opportunity and responsibility to work on various issues that you perhaps wouldn’t normally get assigned to at that level of seniority elsewhere.”

Highly inspiring

Hanna Lenart also moved from Corporate Strategy to Wholesale Banking. Hanna describes her work in Corporate Strategy as “extremely meaningful, both for yourself, for ING and most importantly for society too. You contribute to the purpose of ING, to the accomplishment of the company’s strategic goals and you get to work with senior management throughout the organisation, which is very inspiring. You’re empowered to pursue what matters to you and to shape the agenda, to truly ‘take it on and make it happen’. Even as an experienced consultant, in Corporate Strategy I learned a lot about leadership from within the corporate organisation.”

About Anna

Anna was born and raised in Ukraine. She obtained her master’s degrees in Applied Physics & Mathematics and in Economics, and started her career at Oliver Wyman in Moscow. Later she went to Singapore to pursue an MBA from INSEAD, and subsequentely worked for the Boston Consulting Group in Dubai, Melbourne and London.

About Aleksa

Aleksa is from Serbia. He studied in Serbia, spent a year on the global board of an international student organisation in the Netherlands (Rotterdam) and did an internship in Germany. He has a BSc in Business Administration and an MSc in Business Analytics.

About Hanna

Hanna is from Poland and studied in Belgium. She was an Associate Partner at McKinsey and – prior to her consulting career – a banker at ING. She later returned to ING as Principal of Corporate Strategy. Hanna has an MSc in Economics from KUL in Leuven.

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