23 March 2020 ... min read Listen

Aschna Makhan

The match with the people is just as important as the match with the work

As a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, she advised lots of different clients, including many banks and insurance companies. She felt very at home in the financial sector, not least because she could put her knowledge to good use. And yet she felt a couple of things were lacking: the satisfaction of seeing the longer-term results of her work, and a real sense of involvement.

“Funnily enough I never worked for ING while I was at Deloitte, even though ING was one of our customers. But this company intrigued me, plus I was looking for more continuity. The downside of working on a project basis is that you don’t always get to see the long-term results. I was looking for a chance to go deeper and get more involved – so I took the plunge and applied for the job. This role is perfectly aligned with the direction I wanted to take.”

Match

“There was an immediate match – not only with the role, but also with the people... and I believe that’s equally important, if not more so. The deciding factor for me was the friendly and open atmosphere where the focus is on collaboration and mutual support.”

Putting policies into practice

“I work as a Non-Financial Risk Officer in a ‘squad’ (small team) with two other colleagues. We’re part of Operational Risk Management (ORM), the department that’s responsible for ensuring that ING operates in accordance with all the internal and external rules and regulations. My squad helps to interpret what risk-related policy guidelines mean in practice. Lots of rules are laid down, both by regulatory bodies and by the ING Group, but how can you comply with them effectively and how can you integrate them into your day-to-day work? We make sure that people receive clear instructions, we participate in workshops and we test and review all kinds of control processes.”

Continuously changing

“Because we’re a small team, I have lots of different tasks and responsibilities and that suits me really well. Another thing I really like is having contact with so many different people and departments. I interact with the ING Group, Compliance, our internal accountant, with people from the business and with our colleagues in Belgium, to name but a few… it’s continuously changing.”

Voluntary work


Besides the work, the atmosphere and the people, I’m also delighted that we’re given the opportunity to do voluntary work. I think it’s really important to give something back to society. My ‘thing’ is training people for job applications – I did it for many years in the past, and I’m getting back into it again now. I’ve also started as a reading helper at a primary school, once a month. It’s terrific that we’re allowed time off work for voluntary projects.”

Working during the coronavirus pandemic

‘We just have to be more creative’

Like most other ING colleagues, Aschna is currently working from home. Thanks to Skype and phone calls, things have been going fine so far.

“I’m relieved to be able to work from home in view of my health; I have asthma so I belong to a risk group. Better safe than sorry. I live on my own and am self-isolating. I’m being really careful – I stay indoors as much as possible, and I definitely avoid busy places.”

“I was already used to working from home one day a week, but that’s not the same as staying home every day. We keep in touch via Skype and that’s working fine so far. It can be tricky sometimes because you miss some of the non-verbal communication, but we’re getting by. It remains to be seen how things will pan out in the longer term, of course. I was scheduled to run some training courses in April, so I’ve got to re-think the best approach. It’s going to be a challenge, but I am confident that I can get my message across in a creative way.”

“For our coffee corner chats, we call one another so that we can keep up with what’s going on in each other’s lives a little. Besides that, our whole team is doing a Step Count Challenge to see who can clock up the most steps a day – because we need to keep fit, of course. I’m taking all my steps indoors.

About Aschna

Following her bachelor’s at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, Aschna did a part-time master’s in accountancy & control at Nyenrode Business Universiteit. She started working at the ‘Big Four’ during her master’s, but left when she switched to a full-time master’s in accountancy & control at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She resumed her career at Deloitte afterwards. Aschna is a keen cook and loves trying out new recipes whenever she has time. She also enjoys outdoor swimming (when the weather is fine!) and spending time with her friends.

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