Martine and Nugro

"From analysis to implementation: you see the results of your work"

Working on all kinds of different projects to simplify and optimise processes, and devising smart solutions to complex problems – that’s what Martine Romer and Nugro van Keulen like doing best. They’re both Blackbelts at ING.

Nugro (42) studied Industrial and Organisational Psychology in Amsterdam and Business Administration in Rotterdam and has been a Blackbelt since 2019. He had worked for ING in the past, including as a process analyst, project manager and team manager, before joining another firm to work as a consultant. “As an external consultant I increasingly started to miss being involved in implementing my ideas. That’s what’s so nice about working as a Blackbelt: you’re involved from the analysis stage right through to implementation. What’s more, your work is based on facts and you have a real impact.”

Practical approach

Martine agrees: “It’s hugely satisfying to see our advice being implemented and to see our ideas becoming reality.” Martine (26) did a bachelor’s in Technical Administration and a master’s in Complex Systems Engineering and Management in Delft. As part of her technical studies she opted for the IT field. That generally tends to lead towards consultancies or energy firms rather than finance, but she did her graduation assignment with ING’s Blackbelts and it was a winning combination. She subsequently started as a Blackbelt at ING in February 2020. “I loved it right from the start. I like the practical and results-oriented approach and I got on really well with the team. What’s more, there are opportunities to work on all kinds of different projects. I can’t imagine a more perfect first job.”


The projects are just as varied as the divisions and departments in the bank. “I’m really interested in issues related to digitisation and data science, particularly since ING's ambition is heavily data-driven and focused on innovation,” says Nugro. “I’m now working in Know Your Customer (KYC) on an assignment at the interface of data, technology and processes. It revolves around models that can predict abnormal behaviour of customers. As a specialist in business administration and also psychology, I find this particularly interesting of course.”

Martine: “Coincidently I’m also working on a project in KYC. The assignment is aimed at improving and accelerating the risk analysis that has to be done before a customer can open an account. I like the sequence of steps that has to be gone through: understanding and analysing the request, collecting the data, thinking it through, devising the best solution and then implementing it.”

Perfect learning environment

“This is the perfect environment in which to learn,” Martine continues. “You always work in pairs, you always face new challenges and your colleagues are your best coaches. Needless to say, learning involves setting yourself new challenges – sometimes uncomfortable ones – and getting things wrong. No one is perfect and mistakes are key learning opportunities from a personal development perspective.”

“It’s great working with younger colleagues,” Nugro adds. “You can see someone developing during a project. And it works both ways: I also learn from the juniors and from colleagues with different skill sets than my own. We’re such a diverse team – just look at how different my and Martine’s backgrounds are – so working together is always interesting.”

Close-knit team

“Even though we’re very different, we work together as a close-knit team,” continues Martine. “We used to do a lot of fun things together, such as skiing trips, cycling, socialising, Friday afternoon quizzes, and also training sessions, knowledge exchange and workshops, although coronavirus has made all that more difficult.”

“We think it’s important to continue seeing each other though,” they agree. “So we now do those things online. But we hope we’ll soon be able to get together again in the office every Friday like we used to.”


Find out more

About Nugro

Nugro enjoys spending a lot of time on his racing bike, preferably on cycling trips to the mountains. He also plays tennis regularly. He has recently moved to Muiden with his girlfriend and daughter, so home improvements are still high on his list of priorities.

About Martine

Martine has been bitten by the cycling bug and bought her first racing bike just before the coronavirus outbreak. She never misses an opportunity to combine being outdoors with doing some kind of sport and meeting new people in Amsterdam. In that context, she also recently started taking rowing lessons.

Back to top