Last month our 275th young professional started. This means that in the past 10 years we have helped 275 young talents get a job. Most of them are now in beautiful places and of course we are proud of that! But how are our alumni doing now? We spoke with Thijs Kruimer, Senior Financial and Risk Data Analyst at Rabobank and Bas de Wit, Financial Restructurer SME and Large Business at ABN AMRO. Both are still working within the same bank where they started through our program five years ago. We asked them about their experiences and the steps they have taken since then.
In what position did you start and what steps have you taken within Rabobank?
Thijs: I started at Rabobank as financial reporting specialist. An international organization as large as Rabobank is of course very complex and consists of several business units that fall under the umbrella "Rabobank". My team is mainly concerned with the reporting of the international branch of the bank. Think for example of several business units in North America, London and Asia where Rabobank is also active. In order to meet the obligations of regulators and to manage the business properly, a package of financial data must be made available on a monthly basis. This has been very instructive for me because it has allowed me to learn how the company is organized and where Rabobank operates.
After doing this for a year, I was able to join a project to transform the reporting of North American business units to Utrecht. I was lucky enough to go on two business trips to New York. These have been hectic but very instructive weeks for me. I really have a passion for the versatility that comes with working on projects. In consultation with my teamlead, we looked at further possibilities within our team.
This also gives great opportunities to develop yourself even further. I have been involved in various projects, from robotization / automation to helping to realize more efficient and standardized throughput of financial information. For one of these projects I got the opportunity to help out on a project in Asia. For this I spent almost 8 months in Hong Kong for the Rabobank. A great and super educational experience!
At this moment I am working on a standardization project that relates to Australia and New Zealand. This is a large and complex project and I am still learning a lot.
Bas: I started in August 2015 as a Performance Analyst in the Product Management Business Credits department at ABN AMRO Bank. This was mainly a policy function and concerned, among other things, the return that the bank makes on its lending to entrepreneurs. Currently, I still work in business lending, at the Special Management Department (nowadays referred to in the media as the 'intensive care' of the bank). I work there as a Financial Restructurer. I talk to entrepreneurs in (financial) difficulties to try to turn the tide.
How do you think back to the time when you followed the Young Professional Program with us?
Thijs: Above all, with a lot of fun! I joined Solid Professionals at the end of 2016. After I finished my studies, I spent some time abroad for a non-profit project. When I came back from this, I almost immediately applied for a job at Solid Professionals. Fortunately, there was a good match and I was able to work within the Young Professional Program. The coaching I received from Solid Professionals helped me to succesfully apply at Rabobank. In a short period of time I had to arrange a room in Utrecht where I did not yet had a network. The network of Solid Professionals helped me tremendously. And when I moved again a little later, they helped me again!
Within the Young Professional Program I was in a class with other Solid Professionals colleagues for different courses. We dealt with different items such as expectation management, MBTI and different project management systems. These courses will help you in practice, but also in your professional development at the beginning of your career. Besides the fact that the drinks at the end of the evening are also very enjoyable, it is also very valuable to be in a group with other ambitious starters, to be able to learn from each other's experiences and to spar about items you run into with your client. I wish everyone who is going to continue working at Solid Professionals, and of course all the people who are already there, a lot of success and fun!
Bas: The Young Professional Program was my first job outside the family business (in the tulip bulbs), after completing my studies in Economics. An exciting and big step! Striking and very helpful was the support of Solid Professionals in the application process (how do you prepare, what do you want to say, what do you want to ask et cetera). Very pleasant for someone who has to have that kind of conversations for the first time. In particular, I look back on the intensive and personal guidance during the year that I was working at ABN AMRO through Solid Professionals. I had valuable conversations with my talent manager. These conversations have laid a basis for later steps in my personal development.