Fabian de Koning

I like it when things are measurable and explicable

During a sabbatical year to be a full-time member of a student committee, Fabian realised that he was much more suited to a career in business than in diplomacy. That had been his initial plan, and was also why he had chosen to do a bachelor’s degree in international relations. Fabian: “During that year I had contact with a lot of different businesses and found it really interesting. Plus I’d had a part-time job in sales for a couple of years, alongside my studies, and I really enjoyed the commercial aspect.” So Fabian decided to do an MBA in Dublin, which he completed in the summer of 2019.

“There were numerous options, but a job at ING was always near the top of my list. And I definitely wanted to go into the financial sector; I like it when things are measurable and explicable, and I found the finance-related subjects easy during my studies.”

At the heart of the bank

“Risk wasn’t the most obvious choice, but it appealed to me nevertheless because it’s right at the heart of the bank. It’s interwoven into everything and is becoming increasingly important for the bank and the sector as a whole. Perhaps it’s my love of chess that led me into Risk too. I see several parallels; you have to be strategic and analytical and be good at solving complex puzzles.”

Not to New York...

“My first assignment was in Credit Risk Modelling. I helped to develop a model that forecasts how much money the bank should hold in reserve for possible losses. The plan was for me to go to New York for my second rotation, but unfortunately the coronavirus pandemic put paid to that idea. Luckily I was able to arrange a really interesting assignment fairly quickly in Market Risk instead, although I had to work from home the whole time so I’ve actually never met the rest of my team in real life. It was a bizarre situation that actually turned out really well because the team is a perfect example of agile working.”

Making optimal use of the options

“To soften the blow of not being able to go abroad, the trainees were given the chance to do an extra rotation. In my case, I’ll first spent three more months working in a risk-focused role, in Credit Risk Management within Wholesale Banking. Then, because I was really interested in learning more about large business clients, I spent six months in the Front Office in the Technology, Media, Telecom & Healthcare sector team within Wholesale Banking. During my traineeship I want to make the best possible use of all the options rather than putting all my eggs in one basket. Actually, that’s another way in which it’s just like chess!”

About Fabian

Fabian studied International Relations in Leiden, did a sabbatical year as a full-time member of a student committee and then did an MBA at Trinity College in Dublin. Alongside his studies, he worked part-time at Pepperminds, a temping agency for street sellers and door-to-door sales. Fabian and a group of his friends have formed a football team that competes at a pretty high level. Besides that, he spends as much time as possible with his girlfriend. Another passion is chess; his grandfather taught him how to play when he was ten years old, and since joining ING he has regularly been playing online against an ING trainee in Spain who is just as fanatical as Fabian is.

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