Cathrarina Fiegl

This traineeship is perfect if you want to fully explore the world of HR, and beyond

Having the chance to create an environment in which all employees feel seen and empowered to contribute to the company’s objectives, was Catharina’s inspiration for choosing a career in human resources. Currently she is enjoying an STA (short-term assignment) in Sydney, Australia, as part of her HR traineeship at ING.

‘’Indeed, I was always curious to learn more about team dynamics and leadership as they can make all the difference between an engaged and a disengaged employee. It’s no coincidence that I chose business psychology for my master’s degree.”

‘The enthusiasm of former trainees inspired me a lot’

Catharina was very keen to do a traineeship after her studies, as she saw it as a great opportunity to explore different areas within HR and thus to get a good idea of her own interests and talents. “During the selection process I felt more and more connected with ING, especially thanks to my chats with former trainees. Their enthusiasm inspired me a lot, and I hope I can convey that to new trainees myself too.”

Shape my own path

Catharina has used all the opportunities the HR traineeship offers to the fullest so far. “I’ve worked on an assignment in the HR Operations team and joined the Global Performance & Reward team to support ING’s Gender Pay Gap Analysis. I especially enjoy the possibility to shape my own path according to my interests. For example I took on an extra assignment in the global Diversity & Inclusion team and did a side project in the global Sustainability Team.”

Working on key topics in HR

“And then… I got the chance to go to Sydney, where I’m currently based in the Talent & Learning team. Talent development and talent management are key topics in HR, so this is a perfect place to learn a lot. I soak up all the information and knowledge from my teammates, while working on my own topics, such as setting up a new mentoring programme. I dive into data and trends, prepare and hold presentations and am responsible for stakeholder engagement. Every day is different, so it’s never dull and always full of learning moments. And of course this STA is also a great opportunity to develop myself personally and explore a different (work) culture.”

‘I won’t hesitate to go after the things that I want’

"Although I am obviously the junior, I feel like a fully-fledged member of the team. My colleagues made me feel very welcome from day one. Their support also helped me to get outside of my comfort zone and work on my development goals, for example sharing my opinion more proactively. I grew more and more confident to take action and go after what I want – and this is both appreciated and rewarded.”

‘Be ready for some fun’

“This trainee track is an ambitious programme, but it’s perfect if you want to fully explore the world of HR. All it takes to make your time at ING special is an open mind, awareness of your strengths and areas to improve, and a willingness to speak up and make things happen. And of course being ready for some fun along the way.”


  • Has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in business psychology from the University of Bremen, Germany
  • Currently lives in Sydney, a city that she loves to explore together with other ING trainees from all over the world
  • Enjoys yoga and hiking.

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