I’ve known since an early age what I wanted to do: I wanted to run a business. It’s in my blood – literally, since I come from a family of entrepreneurs. I studied Small Business in Haarlem. Nevertheless, through one thing and another eventually I found myself at ABN AMRO. I’d heard that their traineeship was the best in the Netherlands, so I decided to try it. My plan was to spend two years learning as much as I could and then go my own way again with much more experience than before. Things turned out differently: in fact, I’ve been working here for ten years, and I’m enjoying it immensely – though I’ve been able to see what it’s like to run a business, both at ABN AMRO and elsewhere.
It could really kick-start your career – if you make use of the options and opportunities.
Eric Barratt-Jones Commercial Director
From ‘new school’ to ‘old school’
While I was on a sabbatical I decided that I should give the business world a chance. At the same time I was having a wonderful time at ABN AMRO. Luckily the bank gave me the opportunity to start my own business. I spent four days a week working for the bank and devoted the other three to running my business. It’s amazing that the bank gave me the freedom to use my ambitions and talents. My new business provided some wonderful adventures before I sold the shop in 2014. In my job at the bank, I went from ‘new school’ to ‘old school’. First I was a pioneer, helping to gain a strong market presence for MoneYou as an online savings bank. Now I work as the commercial director for two market areas, where I oversee twenty branch offices.
Looking back on my traineeship, I can say that it was one of the most educational periods of my life. You’ve just graduated and you think, the fun part’s over. The traineeship is an excellent combination of working and discovering yourself, although it’s less casual than as a student. It’s important to think carefully about how you use your time: you get out of it what you put in. You mustn’t be afraid to be yourself. It can really kickstart your career – if you take your chances and seize your opportunities, that is. Be curious and challenge the status quo, and you’ll be fine.
Career growth tracker
- Small Business in Haarlem
- 2006 – 2007: Traineeship ABN AMRO
- 2007 – 2008: New Business Development Manager Retail
- 2009 – 2010: Corporate Venturing Specialist
- 2010 – 2011: Sabbatical
- 2011 – 2013: Senior Strategy Consultant
- 2011 – 2012: Co-founder oBooi!
- 2013 – 2015: Head of Performance Management
- 2015 – 2016: District Director Retail Banking Amersfoort (a.i.)
- 2016 – heden: Commercial Director Amersfoort - Zeist – Randmeren – Arnhem – Achterhoek