I enjoy digging deeper and am a really good listener
When Alycia saw the vacancy for the financial coach position, she immediately thought “That’s me!”. With a background in the hospitality industry, an eagerness to learn and a will to get ahead, she is now in her element helping customers at the ING branch in Vlaardingen.
“One of the requirements stipulated in the vacancy was a talent for customer contact and putting people at their ease,” says Alycia. “Well, that’s second nature to me. That’s why I chose to study hospitality, plus I’d been working in the hospitality industry for many years. I wasn’t deterred by the fact that I didn’t know a lot about banking. I can learn that, I thought. After so many years in the hospitality industry, I was ready for a job with more regularity. Besides that, it had begun to feel like I wasn’t really progressing careerwise and I hate that. I need to keep evolving.”
Hard work but fun
“There’s definitely plenty of room for self-development within the Financial Coach role, not least because we’re expected to stay up to date on topics and trends that affect people’s finances – the latest news and international developments, such as the current situation in Ukraine, for example. Additionally, to do this work you also have to pass the compulsory modules of the WFT (Financial Supervision Act) which include subjects such as consumer credit, damages, assets and investments. For me, studying is hard work but fun – and it also comes in useful in my personal life sometimes. When I was studying for the mortgage module of the WFT, for example, it covered a lot of the issues I’d encountered when my boyfriend and I were thinking about buying a house together.”
Coffee on the couch
“As a Financial Coach you’re actually a sparring partner for each customer rather than a salesperson. Instead of sitting behind a desk, we conduct our customer meetings over coffee on a comfortable couch. As a result, the conversations often go beyond the customer’s original question and you’re able to uncover the underlying issues. That enables you to help them just that little bit better and provide them with lots of useful information. People regularly come back later to say thank you, which is so cool.”
Helping customers to stay a step ahead
“My background in hospitality frequently comes in handy. I find it easy to connect with people, enjoy digging deeper and I’m a really good listener. I get a real kick out of helping customers to stay a step ahead and making them happy, especially when it comes to complex issues – I enjoy getting my teeth into them the most. And if I can’t work something out on my own, I can always ask one of my colleagues. They are all very experienced and I get on really well with everyone.”
Alycia did a vocational course in hospitality management and has worked in the hospitality industry in the Netherlands and Spain. She enjoys soaking up the sunshine at pavement cafés and drinking cocktails in lively bars. She goes running a couple of times a week and regularly travels to Barcelona together with her Spanish boyfriend to visit his family there.