Building bonds for life – this is how I had imagined a traineeship to be
Having lived all over the world – first with her parents, and later as a student – Souad ended up in Amsterdam to start her professional career. She loves the open and friendly environment at ING, where she feels completely at home.
Souad has an ultra-cosmopolitan background: her father is Dutch, her mother is from Trinidad & Tobago, Souad herself was born in Surinam and her name is Arabic. While still living with her parents, she moved to a succession of places including Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Qatar, and when it was time for Souad to go to university she chose to study in the USA.
A very appealing option
“After a year at university in Boston, I decided to move to the Netherlands – my father’s birth country. Up until then, I’d only ever been here for holidays. I started my bachelor’s in International Business Administration at Erasmus University Rotterdam followed by a master’s in Accounting and Financial Management. But I didn’t have a clear plan for ‘my future in finance’ after graduation. ING’s traineeship was very appealing because of the wealth of possibilities it offers to shape your own future.”
“I knew I’d feel at ease in ING’s international environment. I liked the idea of forming one big community with fellow trainees from all over the world and across all the different tracks of the traineeship. I thrive in an environment where lots of diverse ideas and perspectives come together.”
“Unfortunately, as things turned out it wasn’t possible to meet each other in real life. Nevertheless, the online onboarding week was a really warm welcome and surprisingly inspiring. We’ve been leading a ‘digital life’ ever since. One of the most challenging aspects of working from home is not having a real ability to let your personality shine through. I noticed that during the recruitment process and it took me a while to overcome it when I started my first assignment too.”
Adding value to the team’s work
“For my first rotation I chose the one where I believed I can deliver the most. It’s in Wholesale Banking Finance, and I’m working in two teams: global management information and global cost control. Being part of two teams creates an extra challenge, but also gives me the chance to see different aspects of finance and get to know as many people as possible. And although I still sometimes doubt myself, I get terrific support from my team. They reassure me, plus they make me see that I add value to the team’s work. Their openness and willingness to help is really comforting.”
“In the meantime, some other trainees and I have taken the initiative to meet up with one another on a regular basis. Being with them, building friendships and bonds for life gives me a lot of energy. This comes close to how I had imagined a traineeship to be.”
Souad has been a book worm since she was very young. Besides the classics, she enjoys reading more modern novels – and thrillers are her guilty pleasure. She goes running and does yoga to keep fit, and she recently bought a record player because music is another of her great passions.