An investment in yourself
I’ve had the opportunity to find out what I’m really interested in
The vast majority of ING trainees arrive straight out of university, but when I started my traineeship I already had some professional experience because I was working as a management consultant at KPMG. Nevertheless, I didn’t hesitate long before deciding to start on another traineeship here. And now, 18 months down the line, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that it’s been hugely beneficial for me.
I was happy working at KPMG and could easily have stayed there for years. The reason I moved to ING is because I was keen to work on financial transactions for customers operating on the international markets. And I certainly struck it lucky at ING: within Wholesale Banking I got to ‘see’ the whole world and was involved with international customers right from the start, in my first rotation. The short-term assignment in Hong Kong has been one of the biggest highlights of my traineeship so far. I loved having the chance to get a taste of Asia and to experience first-hand what it’s like to live and work on a completely different continent.
But there are more factors that reaffirm on a daily basis that the traineeship was the right choice for me, not least because ING invests in its trainees. We work hard for the bank, and it’s great to get recognition for your efforts such as in the shape of the huge range of training opportunities – which is very comprehensive. I’ve just been doing some preparation for Connect (the two-week training event for all the trainees in my intake year) which is being held soon in Brussels. You don’t just ‘turn up’ there; you have to watch a webinar in advance and answer some test questions, which this time are about clients’ needs. I know that it will be another intensive but also very valuable two weeks of training – especially in the second week, when the content is tailored specifically to my track: wholesale banking. Not long ago I attended a training course on export finance in Paris too. It feels pretty special to be allowed to do things like that and I still don’t take it for granted, even though you’re told what to expect at the start of the traineeship.
The traineeship lasts four years, but the first one is definitely the most hectic. Every couple of months it’s all change in terms of department, surroundings and colleagues and you have to start again from scratch. That can be quite a lot to cope with. Now that I’m in my first permanent role, I have the chance to go into more depth and become really good at what I do. The traineeship has given me the opportunity to see various different departments and hence to find out what I’m really interested in. That’s more difficult when you start in a permanent position right away. For me, it’s important that my work is interesting, that I’m continuously learning and that it makes me happy, plus that I’m in a team with friendly, inspiring and extremely knowledgeable people. That’s precisely what I’ve got now, and that’s what matters.
I have only one thing to say to people who are already working in their first graduate job but are thinking about applying for a traineeship at ING: do it! It’s an investment in yourself that pays dividends in return!
Chloé studied International Economics at the University of Amsterdam and then worked at KPMG. She likes cycling, rollerblading, skating and running – anything as long as it’s outdoors – and is an enthusiastic visitor to the College Club, an organisation that provides courses for young professionals on a wide range of subjects. Her favourite hobbies are eating out with friends and cooking at home, as well as travelling. Now that she's working in Hong Kong, she plans to take weekend trips to the Great Wall of China, Japan and Taiwan. And apparently hiking is also fantastic around Hong Kong.